Faith Adler Brown
Editor, Communications Manager (Currently Retired)
Grad Year: 1969
Beginning with English
Ever since I worked on my junior high school newspaper, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in journalism or public relations. Once I got to Michigan, I chose English as my major, because I felt it would provide a broader background than a journalism concentration. The writing skills I honed at Michigan have been invaluable throughout my career.
My first job as an editorial assistant for the Music Educators Journal in Washington, DC, was an eye-opener: I was appalled to find that many of the submissions from elementary and high-school teachers needed major editing for grammar, punctuation, and conciseness! I also had the fun of creating a stylebook for the magazine, which led to many hours of often hilarious debate with a colleague as we wrote examples of correct and incorrect usage. When the magazine’s production editor resigned, I asked to be trained for the position and enjoyed learning about typography, design, and printing.
After stints as production editor at two more magazines, I became communications manager for a large community college in suburban Chicago. The college was an innovator in marketing to adult learners, and I participated in weekly marketing strategy meetings with the deans. My staff was responsible for press releases and the mailers with class schedules and feature articles, sent to 100,000 residents each semester. We also launched a quarterly magazine that highlighted arts events and other campus activities. It was an exciting five years, both doing strategic planning and overseeing the nitty-gritty details of writing, editing, proofreading, graphic design, and print production.
In 1985, I leapt at the chance to join the Chicago Tribune as employee communications manager. My first position entailed editing a weekly employee newsletter, launching a quarterly employee magazine, and assisting the Human Resources staff in communicating employee benefit programs. I also served as an unofficial Grammar Hotline for colleagues companywide.
In the late 1980s, our corporate parent, Tribune Company, began a decade of major growth, acquiring newspapers and television stations around the country and moving into digital-media ventures. I became director of corporate communications and handled a broad array of responsibilities: media relations, corporate identity, glossy annual reports, annual shareholder meetings, and regular communications with Tribune executives nationwide. Two of my more interesting projects were designing and editing a visitors’ guide to historic Tribune Tower and creating an interactive lobby display for our landmark building—a major tourist destination. I retired from Tribune in 2000.
I feel fortunate that my career provided so many interesting opportunities with nonprofit, public, and corporate employers. My English degree from Michigan led to creative and challenging jobs that I never would have imagined when I declared my major.
Faith Adler Brown
Elizabeth Bender, Faith Adler Brown, Jennifer Conlin, Vanessa Febo, Chris Hall, Lawrence Landman, Amanda Richardson, Lisa Vandenbossche, Erin Crowley, Dory Gannes, Aric Knuth, Katherine MacNair, Howard Markel, MD, PhD, Sarah Marwil Lamstein, Kelly O’Connor McNees, Michael Richman, Melissa Shook, Rebecca Soares, Kurt Taroff, Lee Woldenberg, Anne Wyman, Charles Aldrich, Betsy Carter, Rachael Hudak, Ethan Goodman, John Morgan
Related Career FieldsCommunications/Marketing, Education, Journalism, Public Relations, Publishing, Television/Entertainment/Media