Brown to travel to White House in February to present national report to President Obama
Lipscomb University sophomore Matt Brown has been elected the 2013 National Chief of the National Order of the Arrow (OA), the honor society for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Brown was elected from 18 candidates from across the country who ran for the office. Brown’s term is a one-year appointment.
“I set this as a goal for myself when I was about 14 years old,” said Brown, 19, an accounting major from Brentwood, Tenn. “There were a lot of stepping stones along the way and people who helped me get to this point. In this role, I will get to be an encourager to young boys so they can develop into leaders. People did that for me, and this is an opportunity for me to do that for others.”
As national chief, Brown is the only student who is a voting member on the BSA board and will travel the country representing BSA. In February, Brown will be among a group of six representatives who will meet with President Barack Obama and other congressmen in the Oval Office to present the 2012 BSA Report to the Nation. Later that month he will also travel to Dallas for the BSA national meetings, where he will attend the meeting for the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts with major supporters from across the country. He anticipates travelling nearly every weekend of his term.
“The student’s voice really does matter. In this role I’ll be able to suggest policy and relay the ideas, thoughts and concerns of the scouts,” said Brown.
An Eagle Scout, Brown is a member of Troop 1 in Brentwood, Tenn., and represents the Wa-Hi-Nasa OA lodge, for which he has held multiple offices and most recently served as a section chief. In addition, he attended the 2009 National Order of the Arrow conference, the 2010 National Jamboree and ArrowCorps5 as a participant. He has served as a staff member for Summit Corps, Indian Summer, the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference, as well as Order of the Arrow Ocean Adventure. Brown is also a Founder’s Award recipient.
"To watch Matt develop as a leader within his troop and then on the regional and national levels has been a real privilege. He’s grabbed a hold of every opportunity that’s come his way through scouting, and we take great pride in knowing the principles and confidence he’s learned through scouting will serve him well throughout the rest of his life,” said Hugh Travis, scout executive, Boy Scouts of America, Middle Tennessee Council.
"We have no doubt that the Order members made a smart decision when they put their trust in Matt to serve as their national chief for 2013. His commitment to scouting and his personal drive make him the perfect person to guide the order in its mission to promote best practices among scout troops and councils and to recognize the groups and individuals who best exemplify the scouting way of life."
Brown earned his Eagle rank through Troop 1, housed at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. A 2011 graduate of Brentwood High School, Brown is the son of former Lipscomb business professor Bobby Brown and his wife, Joy, both of whom are Lipscomb graduates.
“I’m not surprised that Matt has been elected to this position. He has always been a leader in the troop and is a natural leader,” said Richard Drumright, Troop 1 scoutmaster. “He has been very involved in this troop and has a personality that has a positive effect on everyone he meets. This is certainly an honor.”
Chris Snoddy (’81), athletic trainer at Lipscomb University from 1982-1992, has been one of Brown’s “biggest influences and an encourager” in his scouting career.
“This is quite an honor for Matt. Matt wants to take on this responsibility in order to serve others,” said Snoddy, a member of the BSA, Middle Tennessee Council board of advisors. “He is successful because he is outgoing, cares about others, is very talented and does it for the right reasons.”
Brown said that scouting has played an important role in his life.
“It has turned me into a leader,” he said. “I’ve had great adult mentors from a variety of perspectives who have trained me. The fellowship and camaraderie that I have experienced with fellow scouts and leaders has helped me develop a network of people across the country whom I can call upon any time.”
Travelling for much of the year, Brown said being at Lipscomb will provide him much-needed stability.
“There is a comfort and community here that I will need when I am gone so much. It will be easy for me to get disconnected,” he said. “When I come back after travelling, it will be nice to have the stability of the Lipscomb community and my friends there to keep me grounded.”
In 2012, Lipscomb University launched a Scout Award to honor scouts attending the university who have achieved the top rank in their scouting organizations. This award is designed to encourage more students to participate in scouting and to earn the top award in their organizations.
The Scout Award is a $10,000 award for any incoming freshman who is accepted to Lipscomb University and has received the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout Award, Venturing Silver Award or Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award; the Girls Scouts of America’s Gold Award, or the American Heritage Girls’ Stars and Stripes Award. The funds are distributed in $2,500 increments each year for up to four years and are applied to room-and-board charges.
“Lipscomb University is proud of what these students have accomplished as scouts, and we are proud to be able to recognize them for it. We believe students who have succeeded as scouts have demonstrated a strong ability to lead, a genuine commitment to their communities and a level of personal integrity that sets the standard for their peers. These qualities are those that we look for in our students,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry.
The Scout Award is one of the largest of its kind in the nation available to scouts.
To apply for the Scout Award, applicants should contact the Lipscomb University Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 615.966.1776.