The Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award honors alumni, under the age of 40, who have enhanced the prestige of the university by virtue of their character, integrity, and personal accomplishments.
Christopher Brown ’99 is a recent recipient of the Catherine Reynolds Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Previously, he was the program director for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship in New York City, where he managed more than 90 community-based and school-based programs that teach entrepreneurship skills to low-income youth. At NFTE, Brown launched the first Social Entrepreneurship Incubator in partnership with City Year, which was recognized with the 2006 Bill and Hillary Clinton National Service Innovation Award at Columbia University. He also has worked for New York’s Inner-City Scholarship Fund, City Year Boston, City Year Washington, D.C., and was the co-founder of Youth Action South Africa. A recipient of the Comcast Corporation National Leadership Award, NFTE’s National Leadership Award, and the YMCA Future Works Appreciation Award, Brown also is a member of Coro’s Leadership New York program and a volunteer for City Year New York. He holds an individualized bachelor of arts degree in international development and education from Valparaiso University, and is active with the Valpo Admission Network and the Valpo Club of New York and New Jersey.
On being recognized with this award, Brown says, “I have spoken to several prospective students as a member of the Valpo Admission Network, and I have always enjoyed sharing with them the innumerable resources that are available to them at VU. I tell them how proud I am of my undergraduate experience and how it benefited me as a professional around the world. This award continues to impress upon me just how eager Valparaiso University is to develop talented and innovative graduates who are willing to take risks and see their education not as an insular process but, rather, an asset to use to serve others on a local and global stage.”
Remembering his time at Valpo, Brown shares, “My first day as a freshman at Valpo I remember sitting in one of the pews in the Chapel of the Resurrection. I distinctly remember watching several orientation assistants running down the middle aisles singing an introductory song and dance routine for students and families. I knew that this was going to be an opportunity that would suit me perfectly. For three summers I was a member of the FOCUS team led by Lisa Barry ’90. These were three of the best summers I ever had and the level of leadership and abilities of those on our team was absolutely critical for the various programs and projects that I have run.”