BAY CITY, Mich.
— Tom Brown, retiring Commissioner
of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, has been
named the 2009 recipient of the Tom Donahue Service Award.
The Donahue Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the GLIAC and intercollegiate athletics. The Award winners exemplify the high standard of dedication to the league and its student-athletes set by Tom Donahue, former commissioner of the GLIAC.
Brown is the longest-serving Commissioner in the history of the GLIAC dedicating 17 years to the advancement of the conference and its student-athletes. He was appointed Commissioner of the GLIAC on July 15, 1992. However, his association with the GLIAC began in the early 1970’s when he helped to form the league while serving as the Assistant to the President at then Northwood Institute.
As Commissioner of the GLIAC, Brown has expanded the conference from 10 full members to 12 full members and two associate members. Also under his leadership the conference has grown to offering championships in 20 sports (10 men’s and 10 women’s) while rising to prominence on the national level as GLIAC teams and student-athletes have achieved success both in the classroom and on the fields of play. With the guidance of Brown the GLIAC has been established as a premier NCAA Division II conference.
Prior to his position with the GLIAC Brown held several positions at Northwood University. Brown served as President of Northwood University from 1979-82. His presidency capped off a long association with Northwood that began in 1963 when he joined the institute as an assistant professor of mathematics, athletic director, business manager and men’s basketball coach. Other positions Brown has held at Norwood were director of finance and operations (1972-74), executive vice president (1974-76), and chancellor/chief operating officer (1976-79).
Brown becomes the 21st recipient of the Donahue Award and the second GLIAC Commissioner to earn the accolades, joining George MacDonald, Grand Valley State University (1988); Bob Hensee, Hillsdale College (1989); Ted Kearly, Michigan Technological University (1990); Barb Patrick, Northern Michigan University (1991); Bud Cooper, Lake Superior State (1992); Vern Norris, GLIAC Commissioner (1993), Dorothy Dreyer, Wayne State University (1994); Dr. Thomas Hendrix, Grand Valley State (1995); Jack McAvoy, Hillsdale (1996); Jack Finn, Northwood University (1997); Bob Becker, Saginaw Valley State University (1999); Chris Petrouleas, Wayne State (2000); Joan Boand, Grand Valley State (2001); Dr. Charles Jones, Lake Superior State (2002); Dr. Mark Kosciuszko, Ferris State University (2003); Michael Corbett, Gannon University (2004); Bob Wendling, Ashland University (2005); Rick Yeo, Michigan Tech (2006), Bill Crawford, Lake Superior State (2007) and Bob Brennan, Wayne State (2008).