Robert D. Crawford ’56 was always a man with many hats.
While at Shenandoah he sang in the choir, played in the band, performed in the opera workshop, was a member of the drama club and played basketball. His ability to excel in many different areas was a gift that was not only apparent while in school but also a huge benefit to Crawford during his professional life.
My experiences while a student at Shenandoah helped me develop the self-confidence necessary for my chosen career path as well as in my singing,” Crawford said. “These activities helped mold me into the person I am today.”
After graduating in 1956, Crawford went on to use his various abilities in the working world. He began teaching music for the first five years in local public schools. He taught one year of general music and was the band teacher for four years along with coaching varsity basketball and serving as an assistant baseball coach.
Wanting more for his career, Crawford indulged himself in the business of sales. For the following 37 years he was a sales manager for three different companies. He spent nine years with the Maryland State Teacher’s Health Insurance Program, was a sales manager for 13 years for a construction company and sold homes, and finally spent his last 15 years with communications selling radio and cellular systems to businesses. He retired in 1997.
While making a name for himself in sales, Crawford also had another interesting hobby.
“From the 60s to the 90s I owned and managed a thoroughbred horse farm,” he commented. “I stood four stallions and bred, sold and raced thoroughbreds predominately at Charles Town, W.Va.”
Along with owning horses and his sales job, Crawford was able to find time for one of his lifelong interests—singing. His singing resume is full as he has soloed in many churches in both Washington and Montgomery County, Md. He has also soloed in three choral groups, the Antietam Choral Society, the Paul Hill Choral in Washington, D.C. which usually performs three or four concerts in the Kennedy Center, and currently the Hagerstown Choral Arts. While a member of the Paul Hill Choral, Crawford sang with the National Symphony, the Fairfax Symphony and the Richmond Symphony. With the Hagerstown Choral Arts, he has sung with the Maryland Symphony.
As an alumnus of Shenandoah, Crawford is still very involved. He has been the president of the Dayton Alumni Society for more than 12 years. He also chairs the Dayton Committee which has been meeting by conference call to conduct the business of the Dayton Alumni including planning the Dayton Weekend, selecting the Dayton Hall of Fame members and selecting the Dayton scholarship recipient. As president of the Dayton Alumni, he represents Dayton on the Alumni Board of Alumni. Not surprisingly, he is a member of Shenandoah’s Alumni Chorus and looks forward to each time they are scheduled to sing.
He is still actively singing, recently completing 25 years with The Hagerstown Choral Arts and is currently in his 19th year as the lead bass for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
I am very proud to say I am a Shenandoah University Alumnus,” Crawford said. “It is very exciting for me as a Dayton alum to see our school grow and flourish.”
This year, Crawford is looking forward to the completion of the Dayton Gallery as well as Dayton Weekend in April and Homecoming Weekend in October.