With a love for her job and a love for her son, Kimberly Brandimore goes through her day with a smile. From small town girl to musician to teacher to director of student life, Brandimore is leading a full life.
A typical day for Brandimore starts at 5:30 a.m. She wakes up her son, Brock, 7, and gives him a bath.
“Brock grew up here on campus because we moved here when he was two and lived here for two years,” Brandimore said. “He is pretty grown up for a seven year old, but in a good way.”
Brandimore and Brock turn on the boom box and get pumped up for the day.
Brock’s current listening favorite is Eric Church.
Brandimore begins every day with an encouraging slogan.
“Every morning I tell Brock that the three most important things in life are honor, honesty and integrity,” she said. “When I was growing up and leaving for school, my dad would always say, ‘Learn a lot and be happy.’ Now I say that same thing to my own son.”
After their jam session, Brandimore takes Brock to school and arrives at SVSU before 8 a.m.
Her morning begins with answering emails and meeting with the student life staff for a morning catch up.
“We all have late nights here on campus and like to meet and
review what happened the night before,” Brandimore said.
She said the staff is one of the most tremendous groups she has worked with because they all want to do the best they can for students.
Brandimore loves her job as director of student life because every day is different. She admits that she lives by her calendar, but that being busy is a good thing.
On campus, Brandimore advises Program Board, Valley Nights, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Forte Hip Hop Dance Group and ECM (Eccumenical Camus Ministry). Her day is filled with planning and meeting with these groups.
Brandimore said that around 3 p.m. she calls her son to see how his day at school went.
“I always ask him, ‘What was great?’ and he says, ‘Recess,’” she said. “Then I ask, ‘What else was great?’ and he says, ‘Lunch.’ He definitely keeps me laughing.”
In the evening, she is back on campus for activities such as Battle of the Valleys, student meetings and programs. Brock usually comes with her and when the night gets late, she said he knows where to find his blanket in her office.
“On those inconsistent nights that we stay here late, Brock gets to hang out with some great students and learn cool stuff,” Brandimore said. “I’m so lucky to have had some wonderful trustworthy students throughout the years who look out for him.”
Brandimore grew up in Twining and came to SVSU as a presidential scholar and one of the first Rhea Music Scholars.
Music is a great passion for Brandimore. She received her music scholarship to SVSU for playing flute and also plays bassoon and saxophone.
Shee graduated from SVSU with a major in music education and a minor in psychology. During that time, Brandimore was also a resident assistant, campus tour guide and janitor.
She was also one of the founding sisters of the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha.
After teaching music in Twining for five years, Brandimore came back to SVSU as resident director for two years, living in University Village West.
When she heard of the opening of her current position, she figured she would give it a try.
“I got the position and here I am three years later,” she said. “Student life has grown so much in that time and it has been a great adventure.”
Brandimore said that people often ask if she is related to the other “Brandimore” on campus, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Merry Jo Brandimore.
“Merry Jo is married to a cousin of my dad. We are not blood related, but I would claim her,” she joked.
Brandimore offered advice for students going through the ups and downs of college life.
“Life is short, don’t take yourself too seriously,” she said. “Enjoy every second and take the good with the bad because that is how you learn.”
Brandimore said that she is grateful to have found a place with people that match the enthusiasm she has.
“I can’t stress enough how great this place is,” she said. “SVSU wouldn’t work so well without so many people that have so much passion for what they do.”