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Bob Braun (BA 1974)

When Bob Braun, first arrived at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, he was a reserved suburbanite. But by the time he departed UMSL, he had discovered a sense of confidence that would empower him to become a successful business professional and knowledgeable international traveler.

"That’s truly a transformation in anyone’s book," Bob says. "I could not have done it without UMSL."

Bob, who was born in St. Louis and grew up in University City, graduating from University City High School in 1970. Like many kids, he enjoyed sports and hanging out with friends. But he also had a serious side, whether he was following the news, volunteering on political campaigns or being active in his Jewish youth group. By his senior year in high school, Bob knew he wanted to study political science at a four-year university. He also realized he would have to live at home and work to afford it, making UMSL the fit that made the most sense. After his first semester at the university, Bob was succeeding academically, but struggling socially. That is when he discovered the Greek fraternity system, pledging with Sigma Tau Gamma, which he says transformed his university experience.

Bob Braun

“That made all the difference,” Bob said. “I became active in UMSL’s student government, the University Senate, and was elected Central Council Vice President, serving as a Member of the UMSL 10th Anniversary Planning Committee.”

Bob says he had many memorable times while at UMSL, from the university basketball team’s win over Lincoln University in the Midwest Regional Championship to attending campus speaking engagements with famous Americans such as author Alex Haley, consumer advocate and environmentalist Ralph Nader and government official William Ruckelshaus. He also remembers the academic experiences that went beyond the classroom, from political science research for both the Normandy and University City school districts to an internship with the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

After graduating magma cum laude with a degree in political science in 1974, Bob took a civil service job with the Department of Navy, specializing in government contracts. He has remained in that field ever since, working in both the public and private sectors.

Today, Bob runs his own company, RAB GovCon Consulting, LLC, helping small businesses succeed in the government contracting market. His work has taken him throughout the U.S. and abroad, including a three-year stint in Italy.

As he looks back on a lifetime of accomplishment, he credits the juggling act that defined his UMSL days for giving him a firm foundation to thrive as a professional.

"Between working part-time, going to classes, being active on campus and still having a social life, I had to learn time management," Bob said. "I was a real-life multitasker before the expression ever became popular."