A Serendipitous Return to Brandman University

Bryan Fazio continues to inspire the Brandman University community with the scholarship that bears his name.

Bryan Fazio continues to inspire the Brandman University community with the scholarship that bears his name.

Last week I was pleased to return to Brandman University, where I have been appointed Vice Chancellor of Communications & Chief Communications Officer. It was Brandman that originally brought me to Southern California and I was proud to serve in P.R. at the non-profit university. As I was wrapping up my first tenure at Brandman, I met an amazing young man named Bryan Fazio, who was a graduate student at the Irvine campus. Bryan was a U.S. Navy veteran who was facing a grim cancer diagnosis and doctors told him that he only had about nine months to live. It was an honor to share his story for the first time (see my original, emotional interview with him here), and I worked to establish a scholarship in his name for fellow military veterans who were facing medical problems or disabilities. We called it the Bryan A. Fazio Memorial Scholarship because, according to doctors, the brave young veteran would not be with us much longer.

It was a most serendipitous return to Brandman for me personally because, in my first week upon returning, we were celebrating the inaugural recipients of the scholarship – but not as a memorial. In fact, Bryan was there to give out the scholarships first-hand.  Not only has he continued to defy the medical community with his fight against cancer, he is now attending law school full time and plans to be a legal advocate for wounded and disabled veterans. Bryan is a wonderful inspiration to us all and I was thrilled to welcome a crew from CBS Los Angeles to campus for this special occasion – watch the clip below.

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