Dare to Dream

Stepping outside his comfort zone has opened new doors for Tory Brown ’13

As a kid, Tory Brown ’13 loved reading mystery book series such as the Hardy Boys and The Box Car Children. “I liked figuring out what was going to happen,” he said.

Today, the communication studies major from Fredericksburg, Virginia, is turning that love of mystery into what he hopes will be a career in journalism or other communications field. “I like the reporting aspect,” he said. “I love talking to people and getting information that helps you get to the bottom of things.”

During high school, Brown’s interests mostly centered around basketball. But college brought the opportunity to a try a number of new activities—a few that surprised even him. Dance is a big example. Friends convinced Brown, who had never taken a dance course, to participate in the College’s dance concert his first year.

“I really didn’t know what I was doing, but they said if you can walk, you can dance,” he said. “That is what I did for that first performance. Afterwards, I decided to take a couple of dance classes.”

The same thing happened later with a theatre production, and it was not long before Brown caught the acting bug. “I was never a risk-taker during high school,” Brown said. “I wanted to stay in my comfort zone. But it is different here. Taking dance and acting were risks, and taking those risks opened up opportunities for me.”

Chad Beck, a communication studies professor, said Brown’s involvement in arts-related activities such as theatre and dance will help later in life. “Tory is a living example of how Randolph students can emerge as productive, engaged leaders in the artistic and cultural spheres,” he said. “Culture and the arts nurture creativity valuable for any career and for contributing to communities.”

Brown was chosen as a 2011 Davenport Leader, and he can already see how the competitive program, which provides students with leadership training, has made a difference in how he works with others. Whether he is using those skills as he coordinates events for the Macon Activities Council, in class, or during any of his other extracurricular activities, Brown knows the experiences will be valuable when he is searching for a job in the journalism field.

“College is much more than what I expected, and I definitely think I am going to be prepared for anything,” he said. “My professors always know when I can do better. And when you have that positive influence and positive push, you can’t help but be successful.”