Bryan Boender was readying for a career in finance when he spent all of January 2001 training with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter at the firm’s offices in the South Tower of New York’s World Trade Center. Less than seven months later, the attack that drew the U.S. into its current conflicts happened and eventually led to a change in direction of Boender’s life. Bryan calls these events “a significant factor” in his subsequent decision to leave the financial field, reevaluate his life and join the U.S. Army. In spite of holding both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, Bryan chose to remain enlisted rather than to commission as an officer, spending his active duty years as a paratrooper with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, including a 15-month tour of duty to Afghanistan.
A native of greater Seattle, Washington, Bryan returned to the Pacific Northwest to attend law school at the University of Oregon after leaving active duty. Recently married, he continues to serve part time as an enlisted member of the Oregon Army National Guard. During his first year of law school, Bryan became very involved in the law school community – serving as a student representative on the faculty’s diversity committee, helping organize a benefit auction to support law students seeking unpaid summer work with public interest organizations and speaking at the university’s Veterans Day ceremony.
With one year of law school under his belt, Bryan spent last summer working full time for the Oregon School Boards Association. Upon returning to campus, as an elected member of the Public Interest Public Service Executive Committee, Bryan is in charge of coordinating the 2010-2011 academic year Public Service Day – an opportunity for the law school community to connect to the community at large by participating in an array of volunteer opportunities.