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 the FTA 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.
Family and friends will tell you that he has never received a birthday card or wrapped present that did not have a magnifying glass put to it before being opened; prompting him to explain to all present what was done, as well as the process or processes responsible and procedures followed.
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.
Known to many by the words he professed, his “laws” to live and work by, make him easily recognizable. They include:
- “Multiple choices lead to multiple successes”
- “Start at the top and work your way up”
- “Perfection is not optional”
- “When faced without a challenge, make one”
- “‘No,’ simply means begin again at one higher level”
- “Patience is a virtue but persistence to the point of success is a blessing”
- “When in doubt, THINK”
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.
“Direct print corrugated promises to continue its growth in high end enhanced graphics. The capability of the flexo process is proven. Sleeves will become the dominant plate cylinder approach in wide web applications. Leaders will demonstrate to the rest that the scientific approach works and the process is very repeatable when treated as a total system. Customers will specify color by the numbers. Designers and prepress producers will be calibrated and rely on the numbers, too.”
A Brief Biography of Page Crouch
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. He dedicated a career to preparing students for the printing and packaging industries and was responsible for the development of the University’s hands-on industry training programs used by employers across the globe.
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.
Page and Diane have one son, Jeffrey Page Crouch, born July 4, 1970, now the proprietor of J.C. Sports, a retail high end boat dealer and pro shop, where Page is often found assisting and talking up wake boards, water skiing, pontoon boats and whatever else customers ask for. Page and Mary are also proud grandparents to Jeff’s daughters, Mary Page, 13, and Sarah, 9.