Branden Dyer ’14 has always been a strong believer of giving back to the communities that shaped him, and connecting with others who share similar experiences. This spring, he joined the The University of Olivet Alumni Association Board to do just that. In his new role, Branden is eager to embrace the board’s motto “Connect. Engage. Ignite.” adding that he knows OC alumni have tremendous potential when they come together.
Originally from Charlotte, Branden loved being part of a tight-knit community and wanted to stay in touch with his friends and neighbors during his college journey. Understanding the benefit of building relationships with others around you, Branden knew he wanted to attend a small college that would allow him to connect with his professors and classmates. In the end, The University of Olivet was the only college he applied to – the beautiful campus, scholarship opportunities and family feel were exactly what he was looking for.
The Power of Leadership
On campus, Branden studied accounting, joined the Student Government Association (SGA) and even pledged to the Greek society Alpha Lambda Epsilon. He was able to make unique connections both inside and outside of the classroom. Branden even had many leadership opportunities through his experience, including serving as SGA president for three years, Alpha E president for two years and Intersociety Council president for two years.
“I always felt like people at The University of Olivet cared about me, and having that support on campus allowed me to grow into the person I am today,” Branden said. “I really enjoyed serving students and making The University of Olivet a better place. It was a way I could give back to the institution, and that’s still something I enjoy doing today.”
Branden added that he’s learned every The University of Olivet student and alumnus has a similar set of experiences, allowing Comets to connect despite age, location, profession or other factors. Now as a member of the Alumni Board, he hopes to help others see their potential to connect with one another, and identify goals alumni can work toward together – most notably improving the student experience on campus. For Branden, he hopes to support Greek life and help other students find the incredible support system waiting for them as a member of a fraternity or sorority.
A Staple in the Charlotte Community
As a student, Branden’s passion for leadership and serving his community continued to grow, and he set a much larger goal – to serve on the Charlotte City Council. Backed by his fraternity brothers and sisters, Branden launched a campaign built on his ideas of environmental sustainability and community engagement. His hard work and dedication to his cause paid off, and Branden was elected to the City Council in 2011.
“I was confident that if I could be a leader at The University of Olivet, I could also be a leader in the Charlotte community,” Branden explained. “I ran against a candidate who had previously served on the City Council, so I was surprised to win, but I received a tremendous amount of support from everyone at OC. I think that’s a testament to Greek life, and the way we support each other.”
Branden served as a councilman through 2015, and successfully advocated for the creation of a sustainability committee. After two years with AmeriCorps VISTA in programs supporting student success and economic growth in Michigan and North Carolina, Branden’s love of serving as a community leader had not faded. He returned to the Charlotte area and was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the Charlotte City Council.
Connect. Engage. Ignite.
“During my time as a student at The University of Olivet, the model of social responsibility was instilled in me, paired with the community service movement upheld in Greek life,” Branden said. “I enjoy being involved in my community and making a difference, so I immediately accepted the role of councilman once again. As a member of the OC Alumni Association Board now as well, I hope to form connections between the two communities that have had the greatest impact on my life.”
View the Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming alumni events and opportunities to connect with Comets of all generations. Contact Samantha Pearl ’00, director of alumni engagement, at email@example.com or 269.749.7644 to learn about the ways you can contribute to the The University of Olivet alumni community.