Phil Brown Named to BVU Board of Trustees

Phil Brown Named to BVU Board of Trustees



Buena Vista University has announced that Phil Brown of North Oaks, Minn., has been elected to the Board of Trustees.

Brown is former executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies in the upper Midwest. He joined BVU’s President’s Advisory Council in 2008 and served until he accepted an appointment to the Board this year (2013). He holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from BVU.

“Rev. Brown, who was a valued member of our President’s Advisory Council and a past Commencement speaker, is keenly interested in the Presbyterian Church’s relationship with its affiliated colleges in the modern age. His council will be extremely helpful as we chart the University’s course for the future,” says BVU President Fred Moore.

Brown earned his bachelors degree in economics from Maryville College in 1964 and went on to earn his masters of divinity in 1968, masters of sacred theology in 1969 and his doctorate of ministry in church governance in 1982 from McCormick Theological Seminary.

Earlier in his career, Brown worked at Willshire PC in Denver, Colo., as an associate pastor from 1969 to 1975. He went on to hold positions as pastor for Hope PC in Springfield, Ill., associate and executive presbyter for Presbytery of Great Rivers, and executive presbyter for Presbytery of Milwaukee. In 2004, he was named executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and worked there until retirement in 2013.

“Through some encounters with both students and faculty, I have come to know something of the highly valued liberal arts foundation that engages the individual nature of each student. It is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach,” says Brown. “BVU provides a broad exposure to students with many opportunities to experience pieces of their education in other parts of the world, while at the same time exposing them and encouraging them to pursue their career paths in rural Iowa rather than fleeing to some large and exciting metropolitan region of the country. I have appreciated the BVU education that leads students to understand and serve a larger purpose, the common good, as well to achieve their personal and professional goals. Since retiring, President Moore asked me to consider becoming a trustee. I gladly said yes to this call.”

His wife, Faith Ralston, Ph.D. is CEO for Leaps of Faith Consulting and is involved with corporate leadership and team development.

Brown and his late wife, Lynn, have two children: Ian Mark, a senior associate for Booz Allen Hamilton; and Jess Carl, director of research for Carollo Engineers. They have four grandchildren.

Among his civic activities as Synod Executive, Brown served on the Boards of Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque and Presbyterian Homes and Services of Minnesota. The Synod enjoys covenant relationships with seven colleges and universities within its bounds, including BVU.

His hobbies and outside interests include the outdoors and visiting his family cabins in Northern Wisconsin. Since retiring, he will have more time to develop and utilize his woodshop, which is currently focused on cabinet making.