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Legislators Hall of Fame
Hank Brown 2006 Legislators Hall of Fame

University Of Colorado

Hank Brown was named the 21st President of the University of Colorado in April, 2005. Since then the university has seen enrollment rebound to an all time record, donations increased 12%, the President’s personal staff was significantly reduced, externally funded faculty research was increased by $51 million and the governance process was reformed.

Daniels Fund

Hank Brown joined the Daniels Fund as President and CEO on July 1, 2002, and served there until his appointment at the university in 2005. The Daniels Fund is a billion dollar foundation left by the late cable entrepreneur, Bill Daniels. In his first two years at the Daniels Fund, he reduced overhead by 35% and shifted $2 million a year to increase grants and scholarships.

University of Northern Colorado

Upon leaving the U.S. Senate, Brown accepted an endowed professorship at the University of Denver where he served as Co-Director of DU’s Public Policy Center. He taught at Denver University from January 1997 until June 1998 when he joined the University of Northern Colorado as its 11th President. In four years as President of the university, overhead was reduced by 7 million dollars a year and transferred to instruction. Externally funded research was doubled, the endowment increased by over 200% and capitol development appropriations exceeded the total of the prior 40 years combined. The admission index was raised and the university moved from Division II to IAA in athletics.
Brown is co-author of Lessons and Legacies and has published over one hundred articles and op-ed pieces.

U.S. Senate and Congress

In 1990, Hank Brown was elected to the United States Senate, becoming Colorado’s 30th Senator. He was elected by a 13% victory margin.

In the U.S. Senate, he served as Chairman of the Middle East Subcommittee on Foreign Relations and Chairman of the Constitutional Law Subcommittee on Judiciary.

Among other legislation Brown was the prime sponsor of Colorado’s only Wild and Scenic River and the only Heritage area designation. Brown sponsored the 1994 Colorado Wilderness Bill, the American, Santa Fe and Oregon Trails Bills and the first Accounting Standards Bill for the Federal Government. Brown authored the 1994, 1995 and 1996 Nation Participation Acts that brought much of Central Europe in NATO.

In 1980, Hank Brown was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the Fourth Congressional District. Brown was re-elected in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988 with margins ranging up to 74% of the vote. In each election, he led the ticket and set a record for the largest margin of victory in a contested race for the Fourth Congressional District.

Upon entering Congress, Brown was elected President of the 54 first-term Republican Congressmen. U.S. News and World Report named Brown as one of the three outstanding first-term Congressmen based on their poll of the entire membership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brown served on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee.

Colorado State Senate

Brown was elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1972. He served from 1973 to 1977 while working full-time as a vice president of Monfort of Colorado. In 1975, he was elected Assistant Majority Leader as the youngest Republican in the State Senate. Brown authored and won passage of the Colorado Conservation Trust Fund, the Colorado Coop. Code, seven bills that rewrote the Colorado Traffic Code, a rewrite of the Colorado Cooporation Code and one of the first Generic Drug Bills in the Nation.

Business and Administrative Experience

In July 1969, Hank Brown joined Monfort of Colorado, Inc., the largest cattle feeding operation in the world, as assistant to the president, Kenneth Monfort. In December 1969, he added the responsibilities of corporate counsel to his other duties. He was promoted to Vice President of Monfort Food Distributing Company in January 1971. A year later, he was promoted to vice president for Corporate Development. In 1976, he was made vice president in charge of International Operations. In 1979, Brown assumed the direction of the Lamb Feeding and Processing Divisions. The Lamb Division involved supervision of the largest lamb feeding operation in the nation and direction of lamb processing plants in Colorado and Texas.

Recognition and activities included:

• Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, 1979
• Appointed to the National Cattlemen’s Association Foreign Trade Committee, 1978
• Received the University of Colorado Distinguished Business Alumnus Award, 1978
• Elected to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Meat Exporters Council, 1977
• Elected to the Board of Directors of the United Bank of Greeley, 1976
• Currently Brown serves on the Board of Directors of Sealed Air Corporation, Sensient Technologies and Boise Cascade Corporation.

Civic Activities and Honors

Brown continued his pattern of service to his community. Some of these activities stemmed from his work at Monfort of Colorado. He was director of the Monfort of Colorado programs for development of minority enterprises and aided in the development of the Spanish Colony Park. Recognition for civic service has included:

• Jaycee Distinguished Service Award, 1972
• Outstanding Young Man of Colorado Award, 1973
• Elected to the Board of Directors of the Colorado State University Foundation, 1977
• Vice Chairman of the University of Colorado Business Alumni Council, 1979
• Appointed to the Greeley City Planning Commission, 1979
• Elected to the Weld County Agricultural Extension Service Advisory Committee, 1978-1980
• Presidential appointment to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 1997-1999
• Hungarian Presidential Gold Medal
• Poland’s “Order of Merit”
• Pakistan’s Order of Nishan-1-Quaid-Azam
• University of Colorado Law School Alumni Award
• The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service


Hank Brown is a native Coloradoan. In 1967 he married Nan Morrison of Springfield, Colorado. The couple has three children. Twins Harry and Christy were born in 1969, and Lori was born in 1971. They have three grandchildren: Lilly Walsh born in 2002, Hank Walsh born in 2004 and Harry Brown born in 2005.


Born in Denver, Colorado on February 12, 1940, Hank attended school through the junior high level in Denver. In 1953, he moved to California where he attended Menlo-Atherton High School, graduating in 1957. He paid his expenses by working an average of 30 hours a week as a dishwasher and gardener during the school year and worked full-time in the summers.

His awards and honors while in high school include:

• Rotary Award for Service Above Self
• First Place, San Jose invitational Debate Tournament
• Second Place in the California Championship in Impromptu Speaking
• All State in Wrestling
• All Conference Football Second Team
• Member of Gold Key (an honorary whose membership was based upon activities and academics)
• California Scholarship Society

In 1957, he entered the University of Colorado on a football scholarship. Other athletic interests included the C Club and wrestling, a sport in which he lettered. When he was not participating in athletics, Brown helped pay his way through school by working 30 hours a week.

Academically, he was on the faculty Honor Roll for four semesters and participated in the Honors Program. His academic achievement earned him membership in the honoraries Phi Epsilon Phi, Beta Alpha Psi, Sumalia, Heart and Dagger Chessmen and Blue Key. Brown graduated in the upper fifth of his class.

While at CU, he secured the passage of the first complete reorganization of student government since the late 1930s.

Honors and awards at CU included:

• The University of Colorado’s Outstanding Leadership Award, 1961
• Student Body President, 1960-1961
• President, Junior Men’s Honorary, Hammers, 1959-1960
• President, Sophomore Men’s Honorary, Phi Epsilon Phi, 1958-1959
• Pacesetter Award

In addition to four years of athletic and academic scholarships, he was awarded an accounting internship from Eastman Kodak.

Law School

Returning from his tour of duty in Vietnam, Brown entered Law School at the University of Colorado in 1966. He worked in excess of 50 hours a week as a janitor, advertising salesman and tax accountant while attending law school full time. He was a member of the Honor Code Council, Phi Alpha Delta (legal fraternity) and Student Bar Association.

Awards and honors while in law school included:

• Scholastic scholarship for all three years
• Outstanding individual performance in practice court trials
• Second in class of 120 in first-year appellate brief and arguments

Brown graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1969 with a Juris Doctor degree. He passed the Colorado Bar Examination in 1969 and was admitted to the practice of law. He scored a 99 on the tax section of the Bar Exam.

Masters of Law Degree

From 1983 to 1986 while serving in Congress, Brown attended night classes at George Washington University in their Post Juris Doctorate program. In May 1986, he was awarded a Masters of Law degree with a specialty in taxation.


During 1987, Brown attended night classes to prepare for the Certified Public Accountants’ exam. Brown passed all four sections of the CPA exam on his first attempt and was accredited as a CPA in March of 1988.

Military Service

In 1962, Hank Brown entered the Naval Officers’ Candidate School and was commissioned as an Ensign. He volunteered for N.A.O. flight training and was awarded his Navigator’s Wings. From 1964 – 1965, he served on flight duty with the VR-22, advancing to Navigation Flight Instructor and then to Navigation Flight Examiner. He was promoted to Lieutenant, J.G.

In 1965, he volunteered for flight duty in Vietnam, serving as a Forward Air Controller in an O-1 along the coastal areas outside DaNang. It was here he was promoted to Lieutenant.

Awards and honors while in the Navy included:

• Air Medal with two Gold Stars
• Naval Unit Citation
• Vietnam Service Medal
• Expeditionary Forces Medal
• National Defense Medal

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