Alumni Spotlight: Brian Andersen ’96

 

Graduation Year: 1996

Education: UNL – 2000

Current Employer/Job Title/What do you enjoy most about your job? I am the Senior Vice President of American National Bank. I really enjoy the community commitment of our organization. As a commercial real estate lender, it’s fun to see buildings around town that you’ve played a small part in bringing out of the ground. In particular, we have a specialization in financing worthy affordable housing developments with various mission-based developers. There are a lot of people with safe, decent housing options at affordable rents that would otherwise be struggling a lot more to keep a roof over their heads. This is especially rewarding.

Favorite Teacher(s) from your time as a Bennington student? I have fond memories of all my teachers, but if I had to highlight a couple, Mrs. McKinley, and Mr. Hepfinger come to mind.

After asking day after day for months, Mrs. McKinley finally let us have class outside.

I don’t know if he will see this, but…

So much depends upon

A red wheel barrow

Glazed with rain water

Beside the white chickens

This was a favorite William Carlos Williams poem of mine that Mr. Hepfinger incorporated into his commencement address to our class.

What activities were you involved in during high school?

Football, basketball, golf, speech, choir, band, student council, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch.

What advice would you give current students? Well, my two kids are attending various Bennington Schools today. The advice I give them is to be kind to your fellow students. It was a proud dad moment when as an eighth grader at the beginning of the school year, my daughter helped a new sixth grade student find her way around the building when lost. It might seem like a small act of kindness to you, but it could mean a lot to the other person.

Do you have other family members who are Bennington alumni? My grandparents and a great aunt were Bennington graduates before me. My brother, Kevin and his wife Jessica (Boysen) were several years behind me. And I now have two kids of my own, and a niece currently attending Bennington elementary or middle schools that will be graduating from BHS before I know it.