2016 Philanthropists of the Year

Craig and Vicki Brown, in formalwear, pose for a portrait

2016 Philanthropists of the Year

The Philanthropist of the Year award is given every fall at the MSU Alumni Association Grand Awards Gala. The award honors those who have demonstrated outstanding philanthropic responsibility toward MSU and whose generosity inspires others.

For Craig and Vicki Brown, the seeds of their devotion to MSU blossomed with a proposal on April 19, 1973.

That day, Craig got down on his knee on the banks of the Red Cedar and asked for Vicki’s hand in marriage. Today, the Craig and Vicki Brown Plazas—part of the North End Zone expansion of Spartan Stadium—overlook that memorable place and represent the Browns’ most recent commitment to MSU.

Craig graduated from the Eli Broad College of Business in 1973, and Vicki earned her degree from the College of Education in 1975.

During Craig’s 23-year career in advertising, he helped shape the future of the industry through the leadership role he played in the first (1985), the largest (1999), and one of the final (2002) global advertising agency mega-mergers.

Self-avowed “sports nuts,” Craig and Vicki own several sports properties, among them the Greenville Drive, the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. In addition to serving on the President’s Campaign Cabinet for Empower Extraordinary, the Campaign for MSU, Craig and Vicki have been steadfast in their support for Spartan Athletics and the Eli Broad College of Business. Craig serves on the Athletics Director’s Advisory Council, is the former chairperson of the MSU Foundation, and is the current chair of Spartan Innovations, the entity charged with the commercialization of MSU’s intellectual properties. He was also an early donor and supporter of MSU’s entrepreneurship programs in the Broad College of Business. Craig and Vicki also devote significant time and resources toward raising awareness and research monies for the Hydrocephalus Association.