Dr. J. Page Crouch is 52nd Member of Flexography’s Most Hallowed Group
Horticulturalist, water sports enthusiast, coach, mentor, researcher; hot rodder, lab rat, taskmaster, author, photographer, philosopher and so much more. This man, the 52nd inductee into Flexographic Technical Association’s Hall of Fame, rises early and allows his day to be consumed by his passions. Flexography and every other form of printing have been one of them—decade after decade—totaling some 50 years.
He considers himself a student of printing, who owes a great deal to his own teachers—starting with his parents, his father being an educator and author—and then being inspired by his first flexo teacher, George Oswald, and the likes of Mark Andrews Sr. and Jim Smith.
Dr. J. Page Crouch, the man of the moment, alumni professor emeritus of graphic communications at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, taught for more than 30 years and later started his own consulting business—Print Education & Training LLC. He has always been clued in to the state of the industry and in close contact with the supplier community. Take this glimpse into the future that he offered up several years ago.
Born Feb. 3, 1942 in San Diego, CA, he was reared by parents James E. Crouch, a college professor who taught biology and anatomy at San Diego State, and Mary Page Crouch. He grew up alongside his sister, Jeanette Crouch Rigopoulos.
Page Crouch graduated from San Diego State College, where he cut his own teaching teeth for two years as a graduate assistant. He moved on to a high school position for two years in Columbia, MO, while pursuing his doctorate (EDD) at the University of Missouri. Page and his wife Diane married in 1965 and upon graduation in 1968, migrated to Clemson, where Page made his mark.
To this day, he is widely credited with leading the development of the school’s graphic communications program. Under his tutelage, Clemson University developed a flexo capability that it describes as “second to none in an American educational setting.” He taught flexography, offset, gravure and screen printing—and given the chance, still will.
Speaker, committee member, researcher, judge, instructor, author and member of the board of directors—all were roles that Page Crouch filled in volunteer service to FTA over the course of his career. While each contributed to his election to the Hall of Fame, several brought him recognition.
Page was an active member of FTA’s Process Color Standards Committee, FlexSys Advisory Committee and served as an Excellence in Flexography Awards competition judge and a two term member of FTA’s Board of Directors and its Foundation’s Board of Trustees (1987-1993).
His work with the FlexSys Advisory Committee was responsible for his selection as a recipient of FTA’s 1993 President’s Award. That year, he was instrumental in research work— Ftrop—and briefed the findings of this parallel project to Flexo Quality Consortium work at Forum 1994.
At one point or another, Page Crouch has been honored by the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen, National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), International Publishing Management Association, Printing Industries Association of the Carolinas, Printing Industries Association of Georgia, Education Council of the Graphic Arts and Graphic Arts Sales Foundation.
Counted among significant milestones: his 1994 induction into the Academy of Screen Printing Technology and 2007 installation into NAPL’s Walter E. Soderstrom Society.
Beyond FTA, he was long active in the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters, Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute, The Association for The Pulp and Paper Industry, Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Gravure Association of America, Envelope Manufacturers Association, International Graphic Arts Education Association, International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking, International Corrugated Packaging Foundation and The Specialty Graphics Imaging Association.
Page Crouch is the embodiment of a saying etched on the facade of many school buildings across America, “Those who dare to teach, must never cease to learn.” Former students praise his dedication and commitment to always looking for better ways to do things.
Schawk’s Neil Harrelson has known Page for more than 40 years and takes pride in being one of his earliest students. “I was in all his classes. He taught; we listened. He asked, ‘What do you really want to do and how are you going to get there?’ His message was, ‘Everything has a cause and effect.’”
“Page has always attacked everything with a passion,” according to his wife, Diane. “As a very young child, he began mowing lawns to earn spending money. He then worked in a gas station to support a 1940 Ford, which he became passionate about restoring.
“During his years at Clemson, he was very passionate about bettering himself along with his students and became very active in many professional organizations. He formed many close friendships throughout the country. He has always shown a strong interest in different kinds of print.”
Reflecting on Page Crouch’s election to flexography’s most hallowed group, she says, “induction into FTA’s Hall of Fame will be a great honor for him. Page will appreciate and be humbled by the support and recognition of peers. The day will be very meaningful to him.”