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African American Alumni Scholar Is Beginning to Feel at Home

It wasn’t an easy decision for Brian Broadnax to come to Loyola Marymount University. Yes, his cousin and uncle are alumni, and they encouraged him to check out LMU. Also, he had visited relatives in the Los Angeles area, and he had come to like the climate and big-city hustle and bustle.

Still, it was a long way from home for the Birmingham, Ala., native.

Now in his sophomore year, Broadnax is convinced he made the right decision. “I love it here,” he said. “It was a big adjustment for me coming from Birmingham, but I made friends pretty quick. I’m also close to the other students in my major.”

Broadnax’s decision to follow a natural science major has root in a deep personal experience. “My father had open-heart surgery when I was in the 10th grade and another one a year later. I always knew that I wanted to be in the medical field, but I started thinking about cardiology after that.”

His mother, Shirley, and his father, John, who is now recovering, are supportive of his decision to come to LMU, Broadnax said.

The distance from his Alabama home has been bridged by his family living near the university. That support system has helped him adjust to life in California and supplied an occasional home-cooked meal. Broadnax has been busy on campus, too, joining the Black Student Union and keeping his grades up.

“The challenge I made to myself was to come to school in California. I had some hard times, especially when I first got here. But I don’t regret the decision. It’s helped me grow a whole lot,” he said.

Broadnax said he is grateful for the support of the African American Alumni Association, which awarded him a scholarship, and that he hopes to be able to give back to the LMU community after he graduates.

The African American Alumni Association’s seventh annual scholarship fundraiser will be Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Marriott Marina del Rey. Distinguished alumni Harold Brooks ’70, Stephen Duncan, MFA ’79 and Frank Key ’96 will be honored, and the 2008-2009 scholarship recipients will be recognized.