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  • Rev. Bradford G. Olson

Cornell Class of 1984





The powerlifting pastor This week’s 84 Faces classmate gives new meaning to “reared against the arch of heaven”, from our Alma Mater. One of his fondest memories is looking up from Cayuga Lake to watch the sun rise over the Cornell campus. Now, he is a pastor in the methodist church and also a world-class athlete.


Bradford G. Olson College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Tell us about what you're doing with your life I am the Lead Pastor at Loveland United Methodist Church. I am a competitive powerlifter who just won my Sixth National Championship in 4 decades (1987, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2013, 2022). I have also won four world championships. I am married to Dawn. I have helped to raise Christopher, Derek (Sarah), and Elizabeth (Beau). I am a grandfather to Micah, Levi, and May.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful? Dr. Polenberg. Psychology 101 Thanks for reading 84 Faces! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work. Pledge your support

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell? I was a Coxswain for the Crew Team. I remember rowing on Cayuga Lake early in the morning as the sun was rising over campus.

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with? John Toohey, Jo Ann Boyko, Alan Baren, Melissa Baren, Ralph Padilla, Jon Friedman.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year? Cornell will change you. It is up to you whether it will be for the better.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated? I was challenged to think critically, to work passionately, and to appreciate the opportunities at hand.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful? I was president of the Cornell Weightlifting Club and have been a competitive powerlifter ever since. I was a part of Chi Phi Fraternity. I was a Coxswain for the Crew Team.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be? I would have appreciated the people I crossed paths with more.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left? Last September my wife and I road tripped to NYC to see Hamilton. On the way we had lunch with Jo Boyko.

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you? I can speak of my past with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2024? Walking across the quad. Visiting Taughannock Falls. Having a drink at Chi Phi. Catching up with old friends.


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