Brian Wright '77

Brian Wright '77
Nicole Sheldon

“I made the biggest decision of my entire life at Minnehaha. It was huge. I became a Christian.” Springtime of his junior year, Brian had a class with a writing assignment that asked, “If you were to die tomorrow, what would happen to you, and where would you go?”  

The Most Important Life Decision

Brian believed in God. But, halfway through the paper he wrote, “Miss Holman, I’ve got to be honest with you—I really don’t know this Jesus person.  I’ve read about Jesus, but I really don’t get it.” He got a B on the paper, but more importantly, Miss Holman asked if he could talk during a free period.  That next morning, he and his girlfriend Polly met with Miss Holman. She asked him what he knew about God, and then asked if he would like to know Jesus, and accept Him into his heart. “I said, you know, I really don’t understand it—but yeah, I would. I remember shaking while I was praying. The three of us prayed together and I accepted the Lord as my Savior.” Moments later they had a fire drill and a few of his buddies came up and asked, “What was going on there?” “As a high school guy, I was a jock and pretty full of myself at the time.  It took several years before I embraced my relationship with the Lord. But I will never forget that day and that decision I made. It changed my life.”  

The Second Most Important Life Decision

“The next biggest decision of my life was who I would marry. Polly and I met when I was 15, but I wasn’t allowed to date yet.” He and Polly had Mr. Erickson’s CWC class together, where she sat in the front of the room and he sat in the back. Polly kept turning around to talk to her friend, so Brian would try to get her attention. “I finally caught her eye, and we walked around the campus a couple of times during lunch. Our first ‘official’ date was on homecoming and we had to sneak around.” Brian was one of the starters on the football team his sophomore year. “If I had been seen with a date the night before our big homecoming game, I would have been dead! We had to not only sneak around from my parents but also Coach Malmsten.”  

After the homecoming show; Polly, Brian, and another couple walked down to Bridgeman's ice cream shop. Halfway there, Brian thought “How am I going to get home?” and more importantly, “How am I going to get Polly home?” He started to panic and Polly asked, “What’s wrong?” Brian said, “I am not sure how I am going to get you home!” She said, “No problem. I’ll just call my mom and dad!” “Her parents picked us up from Bridgeman's, and I had them drop me off about a block away from my house because I couldn’t appear to have been on a date!  At the time, I did not know they would be my future in-laws.” Dating was bumpy for us, but God intended us to be together. In April, we will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!”

I Could Not Do It without My Deep Roots at MA 

Brian is currently the Director of Development for Major Gifts at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul, where he comes alongside families who support KTIS and other network stations as well as the University of Northwestern. “I call it ministry—building meaningful, trusted relationships with people who have a heart for sharing God’s message and the means to be bold with what God has given them. I could not do that without the deep roots that were established at MA:  First, my relationship with Jesus, and second, my firm understanding of what a Christian education means in a person’s life. I can speak firsthand to both and I could not do my job without it. I am so blessed!”




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