Welcome to Bluefield at 100! Bluefield College is celebrating 100 years and has undergone a name change! Each week, in honor of this milestone, The Confusing Middle will shine the spotlight on an individual who spent time at Bluefield University, giving them a chance to fill us all in on where they are and how they’ve been doing since the college years. I hope you’ll join us back here every week as we get reacquainted with some old friends!
This week we’re hearing from Brandon Caldwell!
- What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
Since it’s been about twenty years, I feel like I’ve had a full life since Bluefield. Somehow turned 41, been extremely fortunate to be successful in a great career in banking and started a family (wife Kara, daughter Amelia) that keeps everything interesting for me.
- Where are you living now? For how long?
I’m in Clifton Forge now, which is where I grew up. I was in Roanoke for 10 years right out of college and lived there until 2012. Came back to Clifton Forge and been here ever since.
- Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
Thought about it briefly but never did go forward with a masters. I have been through various courses and programs through banking though.
- Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
I became a cell phone sales person for a company called ‘We R Wireless’. I sold the Nokia’s and Motorola flip phones. Not the Razrs, the models before those.
- Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
I’m the Vice President of Lending for Highlands Community Bank. I’m a member of the executive team there.
- What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
I have always golfed, but I really fell in love with running. I get out as much as I can. My family and I have been fairly involved in the community (up until March of 2020) and we go visit other family members as much as we can.
- Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
We have done a fair amount of traveling, yeah. Not much in the last two years, but I hope that will change soon. We’ve done a lot of concerts in a lot of different areas and been to Disney four or five times.
- Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
I am married, yes. My wife Kara.
- How did you and your spouse meet?
She and I grew up in the same church. We ended up getting together when I was in Roanoke and she was living in Radford in 2005. We were married in 2007.
- Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
I do, yes. Amelia, she’s 11.
- Tell us a funny story about your kids…
There’s so many. She’s a fun kid. Not really a funny story, but just before her 9th birthday, we were going to go play Putt Putt in Roanoke, turns out they were closed and we made our way over to the arcade at Center in the Square and spent a good few hours in there playing a lot of vintage games like ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, ‘Pong, etc.
- What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
Any of my IT classes ranked up as my favorite classes there.
- Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
I’d say either Dr. Anderson or Dee Shoemaker. Both kept things real in class. Made things easy for me to understand and made it more of a conversation than a lecture.
- What was your major and/or minor?
Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology.
- What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
Didn’t have a clue. I was so freaked out in my last semester… I felt like I had to have a job immediately when I graduated. But I honestly had no clue. Just knew I wanted some place to start.
- What was your funniest moment in college?
Now we’re into the hard parts. There are so many funny moments that I feel like I experienced. There are some great moments that I’m able to share with Andy, Mark, and Aaron, but to just pick one, that just wouldn’t be fair.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
I wouldn’t call it dumb, but I almost regret basically working a full-time job at Subway. It was worth it to an extent, because I was able to make my own way, but there are times where I would go back and spend more time with others.
- What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
When spring was just starting to creep through and we weren’t experiencing that ‘Bluefield weather’ granted it would be with only one or two weeks of school left but man that was awesome.
- Was there ever something you wanted to do during your college days but never did?
I can’t say that was the case, no.
- What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
Pretty sure it was the cheese sticks. I think they had those, right?
- Did you play any sports?
- How about intramurals?
I was the self-appointed coach for the greatest flag football team of all time.
- Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
Lol………….tried to start one but it never got off the ground, so no.
- Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
I did not, no.
- What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
I’m pretty sure we had a party on the roof one time.
- Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
This should ask how many times did you jump in the pit….. yes.
- Did you have a work-study job on campus?
Just an internship on campus with IT.
- Did you have a job off campus?
Oh yeah… for sure. I was a sandwich artist at Subway.
- Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
I did, Rish.
- Tell us your craziest roommate story…
Again, you’re asking for one? Have you heard about the one where my roommate talked in his sleep saying that he could run if he wanted to?
- Which classmate influenced you the most?
I had mentioned the three earlier, Mark, Andy, and Aaron. They’re such incredible people. If you haven’t talked to them recently…. I’d recommend it.
- What personal experiences since college would you like to share?
Nothing specific. I’ve been truly blessed to have a great life with great friends and family. Sure, I’ve seen my share of rough times, but the people I have around me, and my personal faith have such an influence on me. It really has been a great ::gulp:: twenty years since college.
- What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
To continue to build on what I have now and hopefully impact others positively around me.
- Give us a quote to live by…
‘Would I rather be loved or feared? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
– Michael Scott
I want to thank Brandon for taking time to answer all these questions and for sharing with us this week! Come back next week when another Bluefield survivor takes the hot seat!
And if you spent time at Bluefield College and want to participate, please reach out to me at email@example.com and I will send you the full list of questions! Until next time, GO RAMS!