Gregory N. Brown, of Blacksburg, Va., dean of the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title "dean emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board’s quarterly meeting Monday, Aug. 23.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1992, Brown was the founding dean of the College of Natural Resources, the only such program in the state. He has built a legacy that includes the new three-story addition to Cheatham Hall, construction of the new Agriculture-Natural Resources Research Facility, a change in the name of the college to reflect its evolving broader program, growth in faculty merger of the Department of Geography into the college, doubling the extramural research grants and contracts from $4 million to $8 million, vigorous expansion of the international program, fundraising and increasing endowed professorships to seven, creation of the colleges Alumni Board in 2000, development of the Northern Virginia graduate program, and approval of the Master’s of Natural Resources degree, increased college offerings to prepare students for a changing future, partnerships with other colleges, strong diversity efforts, leadership for the University Outreach Task Force, and support for the college's lead role in the organization and vision of a distance-learning consortium.

Throughout his 41-year career as a college administrator and forestry professor at five different universities, Brown has published more than 150 articles on environmental stress physiology of woody plants. He has served as president of the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges and chaired the Board on Natural Resources for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and served as director of the Powell River Project board. Brown received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State; a master's degree from Yale University, and his Ph.D. from Duke University.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.