As vice president for university advancement at Old Dominion University, Brandon wears a number of hats - from alumni relations to community engagement. Another is fundraising, and he does that very well.
Before he became the school's development director in 1999, the school's endowment was about $12 million dollars. It was not long before the endowment increased to $60 million. Now it's approaching $200 million.
"I just thought he was a super person," said Cecelia Tucker, an ODU veteran who in the early '90s paved the way for him to get the job at ODU. "And it proved to be correct."
Brandon was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to South Boston, Va., in his early years. His father was from Halifax County and his only brother still lives there.
He graduated from ODU in 1985, and eventually founded Insyte Advertising, which published a magazine and offered related services.
Tucker said Brandon's notoriety in the black community interested her, and she began bringing him to ODU events and introduced him to, former ODU president Jim Koch.
They didn't see eye to eye much early on, but Koch eventually hired him in 1993.
"He, in the past, described me as a radical," Brandon said, "but I wasn't a radical; I was just outspoken."
Koch also hired current president John Broderick a few months later. Brandon came on at the development office; Broderick joined as director of public information.
Before former president Roseann Runte appointed Brandon vice president for development and alumni relations in 2003, Brandon was well known for his fundraising.
In 2001, he led the completion of the ODU's first comprehensive capital campaign, which exceeded its $47.85 million goal two years ahead of schedule. Additionally, under Brandon, Landmark Communications founder Frank Batten Sr. gave the school $32 million, ODU's largest gift ever.
Broderick, who became president in 2009, appointed Brandon to his current position in 2010.
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