For Bryan Olson ’89, Saint John’s is more than a school, it’s a fount of connection.
His affinity to Saint John’s began at the Church of St. Therese of Deephaven, where several other Saint John’s families were fellow parishioners. It grew during high school at Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Some favorite teachers at BSM were Johnnies. So it was only natural that he was one of dozens of BSM classmates who took similar paths to CSB or SJU.
When Bryan first toured campus, he felt at home. He liked the Abbey Church and Bell Banner, and especially the boathouse. Our first year, Bryan embraced Crew. His passion for rowing helped competitive and recreational rowers experience the synchronicity and beauty of the sport and the Sag. Those morning work-outs were too early for me, but Bryan built life-long friendships in Crew. Like so many Johnnies, experiences outside the classroom shaped his character for a lifetime.
The week before graduating, he reconnected with Jodi Fogelman, CSB ‘89. They had met during first-year orientation. Jodi jokes that the last week of school, Bryan said “I’ll marry you!” They’ve been married 25 years; son Shaeffer graduated from another fine liberal arts college, son Shamus ’17 is currently at Saint John’s, and daughter Raina ’20 will start at CSB next fall.
His network of connections, and the story of how they supported him during a job transition, brings tears to his eyes when he talks about our alumni network. Terry Bodensteiner ’90 was an immediate resource and helped get an interview for a position created in 2011 at American Express. Bryan got the job, and they both work there today.
It wasn’t until I came to work for Saint John’s in 2011 that I really understood Bryan’s commitment to Saint John’s. Bryan has a spirit to serve others and is willing to help whenever I call to engage our class in activities and events. He reconnects classmates, helps raise money for the Student Fund Fellows Society, and is one of our founding members of the Class of ‘89 Breakfast Series. He volunteers at the CSB/SJU Career Expo, Johnnie Stand-Ups and the Job and Internship Fair Networking Reception. Supporting current students, recent graduates and connecting the Class of ’89, Bryan is a fantastic supporter of Saint John’s. We deeply appreciate his generosity of time, treasure and talent. I look forward to working with Bryan and enjoying his energy and commitment to Saint John’s for years to come.