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Groux becomes first alum to head Flagler Board of Trustees

May 12, 2020
by Brian Thompson, ‘95

It’s a milestone that hasn’t been lost on Richard Groux Jr. In a year that Flagler College celebrated its 50th anniversary, he also became chair of the college’s Board of Trustees – the first time in Flagler history that an alumnus has held the distinction.

Richard Groux headshot

For Groux, ’79, it’s made even sweeter by the fact that his daughter, Margaret, also started Flagler as a freshman this past fall.

“I’m really excited and she’s excited,” he said about his daughter following in his footsteps at his alma mater. “I think it’s a good fit for her and I’m glad it’s worked out.”

It continues his strong connection to the college, where he has served on the Alumni Board and was first elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2009. Joining the Trustees is something he calls one of the highlights of his life.

“It was absolutely a huge honor,” he said. “It’s a great way to serve, it’s a great way to still be involved and it’s really enjoyable.”

He called it a significant achievement for Flagler to have its first alumnus take the chairmanship, but noted he just happened to be “the guy in the seat,” as there are several others alumni on the board. For him it is more about the opportunity to continue to give back to the college and find new ways to make a difference.

Groux said his experience at Flagler as a student is why he has always wanted to stay involved. Like so many other alumni, he said he felt an intimate educational connection to the college, something he calls “relational education” that is a hallmark for Flagler.  

“For me it was just a great place to be involved academically and meet some great people,” he said. “It was always about relationships.”

He credits the college with forming the foundation for many of his successes in life. He also has a J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law, and served as an Assistant Judge Advocate General in the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard. He is a partner in Dominion Construction Group, a firm involved in the planning and constructing of commercial and church-related projects in Maryland and Virginia. 

With his wife, Leigh Ann, he is also co-owner of Hart Song Farm, a 400-acre organic farm in Iowa where they raise various crops and Red Devon beef cattle.

With Flagler coming off its 50th anniversary and now with a new strategic plan in place, Groux said he is excited to lead the Trustees, especially after a year that saw constituencies representing all elements of the college come together to develop the plan that lays out goals and priorities for the next 5 years.

“To have that unity and commonality of purpose, to reach a point that we come up with a strategic plan that everybody was in agreement with moving forward, I think was very important for the college,” he said. “We have an opportunity to say, ‘The next 50 years of Flagler College, what are we going to look like? What can we do to improve and to re-adjust things that we see in the educational marketplace?’”

Groux called the experience enlightening and invigorating, and said it will allow Flagler to focus on its primary mission of great teaching and great learning.

“The classroom really is the most important part of the college, so how do we enhance that and enhance the student life experience at the college. Then what programs do we tweak so we can take advantage of our position in Northeast Florida,” he said. “I think it’s an exciting time for the college.”

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