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|AEB Profile Cromes|
BRAD CROMES AEB PROFILE
Where are you from?
Where do you currently live?
3 words to describe yourself?
Thoughtful, energetic, and determined.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I have a hard time answering questions of this type, but I think the most interesting thing about me is that I am a first generation college student. I got to Hiram through the support of many people, and I have been blessed with a great many opportunities in my life based on the kindness of those I've come into contact with. In my career and my personal life, I hope to pay that kindness forward, and serving on the Alumni Executive Board is a great way of doing that.
How did you find Hiram?
I found out about Hiram through my church; Carol Denzinger came to our summer camp program to talk to students about Hiram's historic connection to the Disciples. That conversation got me on campus and after visiting, Hiram was an easy decision to make!
What clubs were you involved in?
I was in the: Student Senate (President twice, Vice President once, first student Observer to the Board of Trustees); Music (Choir, Madrigal Singers, "Save The Goats" Men's Quartet, Opera Workshop); B-Side Cafe; Democrats Club; Philosophy Forum; Pre-Law Club; Outdoors Club; Alpha Society; Omicron Delta Kappa; Phi Gamma Epsilon and on the Senior Class Gift Committee.
Your favorite Hiram traditions?
I am very proud of the fact that, while I was Student Senate President, our group resurrected Sugar Day and refocused our campus "off days" on community service. Seeing how that reinvigorated tradition has blossomed since I left campus has been incredibly gratifying, and I'm glad that spirit continues!
While it is very difficult to identify a "favorite," the professor I spent the most time with at Hiram was John Koritansky. As someone with an acute interest in the intersection of philosophy, politics, and policy, John's classes were absolutely captivating to me. His instruction made ancient thinkers and ideas new and challenging and the depth of my understanding grew immeasurably under his instruction.
What is your favorite location on campus?
When I was a student, my favorite spot was probably the B-Side Cafe, because it exposed me to so many interesting people and ideas. As an alum who returns frequently, though, I very much enjoy the Chapel garden and the opportunity to sit quietly and contemplate.
What is your favorite Hiram memory?
Again, it's incredibly difficult to nail down a single memory that stands apart from the rest. For me, our spring trips with Madrigal Singers were very special times, and the opportunities I had to study abroad in England, France and Italy expanded my worldview significantly. The memories that are probably most special to me, though, are the ones I share with my wife (and then girlfriend) Lindsey. Our long walks through campus are something I will cherish forever.
What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?
One of the most special things about Hiram is a culture that systematically exposes you to the viewpoints of folks you might not otherwise interact with, and forces you to grapple with your own preconceived notions and perspectives. I learned at Hiram that there was a world beyond the one I'd grown up with and valid viewpoints outside my own, that lesson is one that I continue to carry with me in everything I do.
Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?
My Hiram education has been invaluable in preparing me for the future. Above all else, Hiram taught me to think critically and keep an open mind to other perspectives. Those skills have served me well, and applied in each and every step of my education and career post-Hiram.
What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?
I am the Portage County Treasurer.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
When I have free time, I like to find some good fiction to read, or take advantage of opportunities to hike and enjoy the great outdoors with my family. I'm also an avid sports fan, so if the Buckeyes, Indians, or Browns are playing I'm likely keeping pretty close tabs.
What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?
I joined AEB because I was looking for a way to reconnect with Hiram as an alum and contribute meaningfully to the life of the institution. I feel as though I've been able to do that through my membership on AEB, most notably in reorganizing our alumni awards to better reflect and celebrate our alumni body's many accomplishments.
Anything else you would like to share?
My time at Hiram was a formative one for me, as I know it was for many. I am thrilled that I am able to remain engaged with the college though the Alumni Executive Board, and happy to help others connect with the Hiram experience and grow into their potential!