Students Remember Dr. Brown's Presidency

By Lauren Eissler


Jonathan Van Pelt (junior)

“I first had lunch with Dr. Brown, and I could tell that he cared. He memorized my name. So I had an awesome lunch experience. Over the summer, I thought it would be really awesome if my dad (he was the one who really made me think about Cedarville) could meet the president of my university.

So we had coffee over here [at Rinnova], and Dr. Brown paid for us. I was trying to beat him to the punch, unfortunately didn’t. He was just very nice, and we just talked. Here [my dad] thought Cedarville was going to be a good campus for me, and I told him my good experiences.

And then he talks to the president, [and] it completely reaffirmed it was a good college choice. He remembers your name, even several weeks down. My dad is deployed in Afghanistan, and I told Dr. Brown this during Homecoming. Dr. Brown [asked for] his address [to] send him a letter, and my dad got his letter and was very encouraged by it.”

Julie Christiansen (senior)

“After getting caught picking campus flowers by a fellow student and being told that they were not mine but Dr. Brown’s flowers, I felt really bad. So I asked Dr. Brown if it was okay. He emailed me back with his permission and blessing to pick and enjoy the flowers on campus ... and I always have since. Dr. Brown reminded me to spread the joy instead of stopping in fear.”

Ian Leong (junior)

“After the tornado alert (two years ago, I believe), I found Dr. Brown in Chuck’s. So I decided to ask him (in my best journalist voice) his opinion on ‘legislation that would outlaw tornadoes in the state of Ohio.’ He responded as follows: ‘I think the legislation is a lot of hot air - a lot of wind blowing around that has the potential to be very destructive.’”

Tina Neely (senior)

“I first met Dr. Brown at a picnic for new and current students in the Cincinnati area. At the time, I was still a senior in high school. He asked my name that day and has not forgotten it since! I’m pleasantly shocked that he has remembered who I am for four years now. Way to go, Dr. Brown!

Chelsea Brett (senior)

“I thought Dr. Brown was a superhero basically. I thought he was just the coolest person. He actually was one of the reasons that I came to Cedarville. I loved that he spoke in chapel every Monday and that he was so involved with students.”

David Yoder (junior)

“Birthday brunch with Dr. Brown: My birthday is the same as Dr. Brown’s, and I decided freshman year to ask him if he did anything for students whose birthdays matched his own. He said not usually but offered to have lunch with me anyway. So I got a personal lunch with the president, and he took a real interest in me, as a student, as a Christian and as a whole person. I got to see up close how Dr. Brown really cares about those who are here at Cedarville under his watch.”

Cassie Curby (senior)

“Though this was not a personal experience with Dr. Brown, it impacted my family, and I still think it’s a nice story:

My parents are missionaries in Budapest, Hungary, and one of the things my dad misses the most about the U.S. is peanut butter; he can’t buy Jif peanut butter when he’s overseas. When my sister Anna (an ’06 grad) was a student here at Cedarville, my mom found out that she and Dr. Brown would be at the same ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) conference in Germany that spring. She e-mailed Anna, who e-mailed Dr. Brown and asked if he would be willing to take some peanut butter with him to drop off for my dad. He agreed and took a two-pack of Jif to give my mom when he saw her in Germany. Peanut butter may not seem like a big deal to some people, but my dad eats it every day, and it meant a lot to him that Dr. Brown would take the time (and the weight in his suitcase) to bring them a gift!”

Kristen Craig (junior)

“Freshman year at the homecoming parade, Dr. Brown handed me a balloon, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever (because it was).

The next year at the parade, I had no expectation of receiving a balloon from Dr. Brown again. I mean, how could something so incredibly awesome happen more than once? By the time he arrived at my location on the parade route, he held only two balloons in his hand. Of course, he was required to uphold his grandfatherly duties and save one balloon for Jack. My chances seemed dim. But to my surprise, Dr. Brown stretched out his hand, gave me a balloon and told me he would save the last one for Jack. This was no coincidence.

I decided it was time to get serious, and I made it my goal to get a balloon from Dr. Brown at every homecoming parade during my 4 years here at Cedarville. A difficult mission? Yes. But I was ready to accept the challenge.

This year’s parade, my friends and I arrived early and strategically placed ourselves near the front of the parade route on Dr. Brown’s side of the street in order to retrieve a balloon once again. After several minutes of waiting, hurdling over the massive amounts of children who didn’t want the balloon nearly as much as I did and daringly diving into the street, Dr. Brown finally arrived, handed me a balloon and continued along his way. Success!

Next year’s senior year, and I have one more balloon to add to the collection. Perhaps Dr. Brown will be around to walk in the parade and hand me a balloon once again, but if not, I just wanted to tell him thanks for making homecoming special the last three years. Little did he know, he gave me a reason to wake up early on those chilly October days for the parade and helped me form a homecoming tradition I won’t soon forget.”

More Dr. Brown stories to share?

Have a story of an interaction you have had with Dr. Brown that you’d like to share? Or maybe a photo? Email them to or post them to our Facebook ( or Twitter (@CedarsatCU).

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