George Hanks "Hank" Brown knows that hard work, done responsibly and in the service of justice, earns the respect of your peers and leads to a rewarding life. Even early in life, Hank Brown brought people together toward common goals. Hank earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado in 1961, and served as CU’s student body president. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1969. In 1986, while in Washington, D.C., Hank earned a master of law degree from George Washington University. In 1988, he passed the exam to become a certified public accountant.
Hank served in the U.S. Navy from 1962 – 1966. He volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was decorated for his combat service as a forward air controller. After a decorated tour of duty, he served as Vice President of Monfort of Colorado. He proceeded onward to the Colorado Senate, five consecutive U.S. House of Representatives terms, and a term in the U.S. Senate. During his time in government, Hank Brown earned respect from Democrats and Republicans alike. U.S. Senate colleague Alan Simpson of Wyoming described Hank Brown as the epitome of the old phrase, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
After leaving politics in 1998, Hank Brown did not slow down. He led the University of Northern Colorado and the billion-dollar Daniels Fund before being inaugurated in June 2005 as the 21st president of the University of Colorado, serving with distinction until his March 2008 retirement. During his tenure, he instilled broad public confidence in the University of Colorado with his honesty, leadership skills, and character. Fundraising, enrollment, and research set new records during his presidency.
Since stepping down as president, Hank Brown has accepted a chaired professorship at CU, and continues to teach at Colorado Law as well as to undergraduate students. He is a proud Colorado native, and lives in Denver with his wife, Nan. They have three adult children, Harry, Christy, and Lori, and two grandchildren, Lilly and Hank.