Blue Ridge School presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor given to one of its graduates, on October 5, 2018, to Marion P. “Dickie” Brawley III ’68. Mr. Brawley served as a member of the Blue Ridge School Board of Trustees from 1997-2016, with three of those years (2013-16) as chairman. He is also the parent of a Blue Ridge School alumnus, Porter Brawley ’00.
Under Brawley’s leadership as chairman, the school made many strides, including tripling the annual investment in facilities and grounds, launching a sustainability initiative that invested more than $1 million in energy infrastructure, doubling the school’s annual investment in marketing, adding six miles of single-track hiking and biking trails to the school’s network, building a sanctuary garden, launching a new trustee orientation program that significantly increased engagement, and raising more than $2.7 million from more than 200 donors to build the Baron Athletic Complex.
Headmaster Trip Darrin says, “Dickie restored trust, a spirit of collaboration, and working camaraderie among the Board of Trustees and management team. He has been an outstanding mentor to me and—above all—I consider him a dear friend.”
Brawley says, “It was a true honor to be recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of Blue Ridge, but for me the best part was seeing how well Blue Ridge is doing on all fronts. If I contributed a small piece to the success of Blue Ridge while on the Board, it is even more satisfying to witness how much further the Board, the faculty, the administration, and the students have exceeded our successes. I am very proud of Trip and his team and the remarkable achievements they have made during their tenure.”
“I think I speak for the great Class of 1968,” added Brawley, “when I say we were all impressed with the new football field and other improvements on campus, but most of all the positive spirit we witnessed. We look forward to returning to our school in the mountains of Virginia which provided so many happy memories.”
Brawley is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He earned his MBA from The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). He has worked for four decades in the financial services industry and is senior partner of The Brawley Wealth Management Group.