Tim Brown '00
Let’s just say that academics were not my strong suit. I was not very academically confident when I was in high school. So for this reason, higher education was not even on my radar when I left high school. I joined the Army at eighteen and spent six years traveling the world. This time really enabled me to mature and focus on my future. I returned to the United States in 1996 and started looking for a college program that would be a good fit for me. I researched many drafting programs in southern Maine and New Hampshire. Most of them were engineering focused and very limited in the skills I would gain. The Civil Technology program at the Thompson School of Applied Science appealed to me because of the broad scope of the program. Instead of focusing on a computer program alone, the CT program gave good exposure to the fundamental skills needed to succeed in the building design and construction industry.
Starting a college program with eighteen year old recent high school graduates intimidated me being that I was twenty-five and rusty at being a student. I was quite anxious my first day. Those fears quickly dissipated once the faculty laid out the course work and oriented us for the semester ahead. They created an atmosphere conducive to learning, were always enthusiastic about the material and were eager to help whenever I needed assistance. My fellow students were great too. I quickly became part of a group that accepted an “old man.” We were all optimistic and excited as we moved through the program. I used the GI Bill that I gained while serving in the military. The veteran’s office on campus was always very courteous and made it easy to get the funds needed to pay my tuition.
When I started the program I saw this as the only step in my higher education quest. As I moved through the curriculum, I became excited about the architectural progression. Guy Petty was instrumental in fueling my fire to pursue a Bachelors of Architecture. I graduated from the CT program with honors in 2000. My family and I moved to Texas where I continued my education at Texas A & M University’s College of Architecture. I completed the Bachelors program there in 2003. I then sat for the Architectural Registration Exam and became a licensed Architect in 2007.
I attribute most all of my academic success to the Civil Technology program. Without the faculty, fellow students and my family, I would have never had the success I had. I would not change anything about the path I chose to get here today. I truly believe that if I had started my college education at a four year university, it would have overwhelmed me. Instead, my college experience was one that excited me and always drove me forward.
I currently live in Austin, Texas and I am the owner of a small residential architecture firm (Pioneer Designs, LLC). I am loving life. This is such a rewarding profession. Thanks so much to all of the faculty and staff at the Thompson School. I will always remember my time spent at UNH with great fondness.