One of just four deaf Board of Trustee members in 1988, Bravin was chair of the presidential search committee responsible for the selection and screening of finalists. A 1966 graduate of Gallaudet and an IBM executive, Bravin became the intermediary between student leaders and the Board during the protest.

When Spilman announced her resignation on March 13, 1988, Bravin became the first deaf chairperson of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.