Alumnus Juan Brown ’96 to launch new ‘Journey’ speakers’ series during Homecoming

brownGEORGETOWN, KY – Alumnus Juan Dontrese “Smack” Brown ’96 returns to Georgetown College during Homecoming week as a special guest for the October 10 launch of “The Journey,” a new speakers’ series being presented by the Fine Arts Galleries.

Galleries director Jeanette Tesmer describes the series as one intended to give GC students a perspective into their time at school and beyond.

“Each lecturer will focus on a particular journey, whether it be their own, another’s, or even a fictional character,” she says. “Each lecture will explore the failures and successes of what it means to take a journey.”

Brown’s lecture in John L. Hill Chapel at 11 a.m. is entitled, “Failing Forward: Defining yourself through the failures, not successes – that is the Journey.”

Commenting on his chosen topic, he said recently, “I remember sitting in those same seats in the Chapel and listening to many, many speakers talk about all the great things that they have accomplished; although it was inspiring in many points – it also seemed that they were so untouchable and not real or you had to have a special gift within to reach those goals. I want them (the students) to know that it is not about the successes that make you or your journey unique – it’s the failures. So, out of all my success – it’s the failures that have made me and this journey.”

“Smack,” as he is affectionately known, is currently Creative Director for Victorinox Swiss Army, North America. He is a motivational creative design professional who has brought passion, inspiration and dedication to each opportunity in his professional journey. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from Georgetown College as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Graphic Design from Morehead State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Savannah (GA) College of Art & Design.

His creative journey began in 1991 as an abstract painter at Georgetown College, where he was president of the Kappa Pi Honorary Art Fraternity, and contributed to the football team as a championship athlete leading the team to many honors during his four years. In 1993, he switched his focus from painting to graphic design and in 1995 became the first student from Georgetown to graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design, all while writing the design curriculum in the process.

Giving back to what he started, Smack returned to Georgetown in 1998 after receiving his MA degree, making his foray into teaching as the Professor of Graphic Design within the Art Department for six years. He also contributed to the athletic program as Assistant Football Coach, and was Art Director for Public Relations – leaving his mark of passion, commitment and loyalty on everything possible.

An active tri-athlete, Smack also enjoys relaxing with his family and friends, and reading anything and everything that feed his hunger for motivation and improvement. He and his wife and children live in Connecticut.

In November, he will among the featured speakers for RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors 2013, a conference in New York.



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