Brandywine’s Don Brennan has big plans for residence life on campus

MEDIA, Pa. — Don Brennan has joined Penn State Brandywine as the new assistant director of residence life, as the campus is preparing to open its first residence hall and new student union building in August.

In his new role, Brennan will be responsible for making the new residence hall run smoothly and integrate into the campus routines.

“I will basically be the face of residence life on campus,” Brennan said, “representing our office in various committees, leading the ship with our resident assistants (RAs), and making connections between the residence life programs at Brandywine and University Park.”

Having served six years as resident director for transfer students at Alvernia University in Reading, Brennan already has a great deal of experience managing a residence life program. Residence life at Brandywine, however, will present Brennan with an exciting challenge, which is exactly why he applied for the job.

“As a young residence life professional, you almost never get an opportunity to start a program in your career,” he said. “For Brandywine, residence life will be brand new. It will be a growth experience.”

In the next few weeks, Brennan will be busy working with several other Brandywine offices, including the new office of housing and food services, to prepare the campus for its first inflow of residential students.

He especially looks forward to encouraging student leadership and diversity through the residence life program.

“I’m passionate about diversity education — finding ways to infuse lessons of social justice into the residence hall communities,” he said. “Within my three weeks here, I’ve already noticed that Brandywine, compared to other institutions I’ve worked at, is a truly diverse environment. I’m excited to be at a university that clearly values individuality of person.”

Brennan, a Delaware County native, sees his new career at Brandywine as a sort of homecoming — one that will allow him to better the community through his personal passions.

“My goal is to create as many relationships as I can between Orchard Hall and the rest of the campus,” he said. “Everything will be affected by residence life — down to the library hours and gym access. Creating a stronger Brandywine community — both for residents and commuters — is something we’ll need to do with each other’s help.”