Community Engagement

New Retiree Spotlight: Geoff Upward

Spotlighting Geoff Upward, the former executive director of Meadow Brook Estate

A man smiling with windows in the background.

Pioneer Club

icon of a calendarApril 20, 2021

Share this story

Geoff Upward, executive director of Meadow Brook Estate, retired earlier this year following nearly four decades of service and dedication to Oakland University. He joined the university in 1984 as director of publications and subsequently rose through positions of increasing responsibility, including founder and director of university communications and marketing, and assistant vice president. He twice served as interim vice president of university advancement.

As executive director, Geoff launched fundraising, membership and publishing programs; oversaw $7 million and $4 million restoration and preservation projects; and secured a coveted national historic landmark designation for Meadow Brook Hall. He and wife Suzanne recently relocated to a golf community in Harbor Springs, Michigan which Geoff describes as a summer camp for adults. Avid golfers, they plan to enjoy the many outdoor activities and picturesque lakes of northern Michigan.

A sports enthusiast and standout high school and college soccer player, Geoff actively supported OU’s athletics program and was a key player in its move from NCAA Division II to Division I. He also headed up the university’s committee to create a new mascot and wrote the second verse to OU’s fight song.

“My favorite memory was celebrating Meadow Brook Hall becoming a National Historic Landmark,” says Geoff. Other fond memories include the 100-year celebration of the Dodge Brothers Company, leading creation of OU’s inaugural website, promoting the launch of the new medical school, and coordinating the campus visits of President George W. Bush, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, and Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada.

Share this story