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Alumni Spotlight: Brian Brode

EKU Alumni Spotlight: Brian Brode

Growing up in a single-parent household, Brian Brode learned at an early age from his mother the importance of serving others. Many times, he volunteered alongside her as she ignored her own financial struggles to model a life of selfless service. Then, as he grew into adulthood, he began to live out those life lessons – as an Army officer, family man, successful executive, active volunteer and philanthropist. Now, by establishing the Rendevous with Destiny Scholarship to enhance the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Program at Eastern Kentucky University, Mr. Brode is ensuring that future cadets will enjoy the same opportunities as he did years ago to develop their leadership skills and go on to serve their country, families, professions and fellow citizens. “EKU changed my life and ultimately the trajectory of my family’s future,” the 1983 graduate declared. “Establishing this endowed scholarship is a way for my family to give back to those who gave so much to me when I needed support the most. My family wants to have a lasting impact on the lives of Army ROTC cadet students in their education at EKU and in their service to our country.” An ROTC cadet his final two years at Eastern, Mr. Brode knows first-hand the financial challenges that student cadets endure because of the time commitments their fitness regimen and training demand. The scholarship, he said, will help close that financial gap. “Army ROTC provided leadership training that is unmatched by any other program,” said Mr. Brode, who now resides in Plano, Texas. “I received hands-on training and experience in leading others, managing complex projects and making critical decisions,” a solid foundation for seven years of service in the Army and then a highly successful business career. Today, Mr. Brode is founder and financial adviser for Brode & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services LLC. The husband and father of four is also a triathlete and endurance runner for two cancer research charities. He has completed six full-distance Ironman triathlons, 15 marathons and a 50-mile ultra-marathon, and twice qualified for the USA Triathlon National Team, representing the U.S. in the World Triathlon Championships. He's also an adviser to the Warren Center for Children with Developmental Delays and a volunteer swim coach for children and adults with developmental delays. “Our time alive is short, but it is possible for our good works to last long after we depart,” Mr. Brode said. “By establishing a culture in our businesses and the values in our families, we set a good example and high standards for how those who follow us can live a meaningful life. Philanthropy, charity and community service help alleviate the suffering of those who are less fortunate, whether through financial support, volunteering time and resources, or advocating for systemic change.” Just as, years ago, his mother extolled the value of higher education in breaking their family’s cycle of poverty, Mr. Brode’s generosity will, for generations to come, open vistas of possibilities for ROTC cadets following in his bootsteps.

Published on March 20, 2023

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