Sitting in her guidance counselor’s office, high school senior and star athlete Georgia Davis Brown ‘06 looked over the blank application before her – and slid it back across the desk to her counselor, incredulous that she had what it took to be selected for a Park Scholarship.
“I had never really thought about going to NC State and was not very interested,” Brown said.
Fortunately, her counselor was persistent and handed the application back to Brown.
“I completed it, and it really and truly changed the course of my life.”
Receiving the Park Scholarship was surreal for Brown. She says she did not realize how much she was given until more than ten years later when, in September 2013, NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the Park Foundation had made a $50 million gift to begin the Park Scholarships’ endowment. Brown was moved to tears during the presentation, as she finally understood the generosity of the award and the assistance the program provided her.
“I think when you’re 16 or 17 years old, finding out that you’ve received a full academic scholarship plus a computer stipend, Learning Lab trips, and grant opportunities, you tend to be naïve to all that you’ve just been given,” she said. “I know I was, anyway.”
From an early age, Brown was sure her career path would lead her into the sports industry. Both of her parents taught physical education, and her father was the athletic director and head football coach at the local high school. Brown participated in six sports during high school and thrived as a student-athlete. Her passion for this lifestyle evolved into an interest in sports management.
“I wanted to ensure that others were able to experience those opportunities that I so loved and that I credit towards developing invaluable life skills,” Brown said.
Brown came to NC State as a major in parks, recreation and tourism management with a concentration in sports management. She was a member of the varsity cross country and track and field teams, where she participated in middle distance events including the 800-, 1500-, and 1600-meter. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree in 2006 Brown received the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) postgraduate scholarship, and two years later earned her master’s degree in the same program.
Brown launched her career with the very organization that funded her graduate studies; in 2008, she accepted an administrative assistant position with the ACC’s women’s basketball department. She was briskly promoted in 2010 to assistant director for women’s basketball as well as assistant senior woman administrator (SWA), and in 2013 to director of championships.
“A lot of my job, in regards to women’s basketball, was communication – making sure that all of our schools and coaches were on the same page when it came to their women’s basketball game operations, marketing, etc.,” she said. “Another large portion was the year-long planning process for our four-day conference tournament in Greensboro. The SWA portion of my job description was dealing with the logistics of the governance meetings that involved our institutional senior woman administrators. They are a group with a vote in the creation, updating and adoption of conference wide policies and procedures.”
In August 2013, Brown returned to NC State in the role of assistant athletic director for administration. Now that Brown is back with the Wolfpack, her job is especially exciting.
“The cool thing about my position is that it was a newly created one, so the daily details of my job are ever changing and evolving,” she said. “There are always new challenges and projects to tackle!”
She assists with game day operations for football and basketball games as well as with athletic department-initiated projects, such as the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. She also serves as sport administrator for the gymnastics team.
“I am forever thankful for the opportunities I had at NC State, as a walk-on with the track team, as a student in the College of Natural Resources, and as a Park Scholar,” she said. “Looking back, I can’t imagine a more perfect fit and experience anywhere else.”
Story by Kyleigh Garrison