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Returning To Your Alma Mater As AD With Brown’s M. Grace Calhoun

Guest M. Grace Calhoun, Brown University
15:29 min watch


Brown University’s Chancellor Samuel M. Mencoff ’78 Vice President for Athletics and Recreation M. Grace Calhoun sits down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz to discuss the unique experience of returning to her alma mater, where she competed as a track and field student-athlete, as the AD. Calhoun, a three-time Director of Athletics, shares insight into why the return to Brown was the right fit for her and reflects on how her undergraduate experience in Providence impacted her leadership philosophy and style throughout her career. Calhoun and Garcia Cichosz also dive into Brown Athletics’ recent strategic plan, refreshed brand identity and department ethos.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - You are a Brown Bears track and field almna, so your return to Brown is a bit of a homecoming. What were your first thoughts, impressions and emotions when you stepped back on campus as the AD?
  • - You've been called "the right leader at the right time for Brown" - why was this return to Brown the right fit for you at that point in your career journey?
  • - You have strong alignment with Brown's president; what strategies have you used to develop relationships with other key stakeholders across campus?
  • - How have you worked to gain influence as the AD, aside from having the title?
  • - You've said that your Brown education taught you how to be a critical thinker, a problem solver and a builder - how have you put those three traits into practice throughout your career?
  • - Tell us about the evolution of the "IGNITE" strategic plan for Brown Athletics.
  • - When it was time to develop the department's refreshed brand identity, how did you balance honoring tradition, displaying momentum and linking to the university's brand identity?
  • - You've also launched a new division ethos - how does this capture the spirit and culture of Brown Athletics and today's student-athlete?
  • - How are you keeping a student-athlete focus at the forefront of your priorities and at the top of your to-do list?
  • - How would you be engaging with NIL if it was in place while you were competing as a student-athlete?