Greg Crawford is a freshman, mechanical engineering student from Queensbury, New York. While most people on the Arkansas Tech campus may not have not heard of Crawford, they probably have, however, heard him.
Students know him as Speaker Guy, an alias Crawford has rightly earned from carrying his homemade speaker box on his back, blasting music across the campus.
Crawford’s journey to becoming Speaker Guy for Arkansas Tech started long before last fall. It actually started when he was only 12 years old.
While shopping at the mall, Crawford and a friend stumbled upon a portable speaker. Crawford thought the price was ridiculous and his friend bet him that he could not make one cheaper.
That was when Crawford took to the drawing board. After four of, what Crawford called, “learning experiences,” he has just about perfected his speaker box.
When Crawford brought the speaker box to Arkansas Tech, he intended to use it as a sound system for his dorm room. A friend was hosting a dance number on campus and asked if Crawford could bring his speaker. Crawford strapped the speaker to his back and strolled across campus. That was when he decided to play his own music from it.
Crawford admits that he had not become familiar with many people at Arkansas Tech, and carrying the speaker box helps him get out and meet people.
While Crawford enjoys the attention and meeting new people, he tries to be as nonintrusive as possible. “I try really hard to not disrupt the flow of things,” Crawford said. For that reason, Crawford does not carry the speaker box to his classes and is always open to people who have complaints or concerns.
“Campus PD is fine with it as long as I’m not starting a riot or anything like that,” Crawford said. He also stated that one of the officers on campus is wanting to work with him.
Most of the feedback has been positive for Crawford and he enjoys being somewhat synonymous with the Arkansas Tech campus. “It means a lot to me, I’ve had people say their friends from Little Rock and Conway have heard about me,” Crawford said.
Crawford would like to make Speaker Guy an official Arkansas Tech tradition and hopes to speak to President Robin Bowen about it. Despite the success, Crawford is not getting complacent with the current iteration of his speaker. He plans on making major improvements to the design and building an entirely new speaker box over the summer, when he returns home.
Crawford’s fascination with building speaker boxes has spread to his younger brothers, particularly his brother, Drew, who is still in high school and currently building his own prototype of the speaker box.
Crawford and his brothers aim to take their speaker boxes further and are in the process of creating their own business, “SpeakerGuy Industries.”
The goal of their business is to spread speaker boxes all over, so that multiple campuses can have their very own Speaker Guy.
He also hopes their business can soon help benefit musical charities all over the world.
Music is very near and dear to Crawford’s heart. He played cello in his high school orchestra for two years.
“If you put music into anything, it makes it a million times better,” Crawford said.
You can normally find Crawford roaming the Arkansas Tech campus on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. “I do take song requests,” Crawford said. “If I don’t have it at that time, I’ll have it shortly after.”
When asked if he has any plans of hanging the speaker box up and calling it quits, Crawford said, “one day I will have to stop, but hopefully we could then introduce a Speaker Guy 2.0.”