Samoa’s swimming champ and Best Male Athlete of the Pacific Games 2019 Brandon Lloyd Schuster has graduated from California Baptist University (CBU) this morning with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BSBME) cum laude.
The inspirational 23 year old graduated with honors, and says the most difficult part of his undergraduate degree journey was managing his time between school and keeping up with the sport that he loves.
“Engineering itself is a difficult degree but I think the biggest challenge was that I was competing at the Collegiate Division 1 level for swimming at my University as well as representing Samoa, which just made finding time for school a little harder… still, it was fun!,” he shares with Samoa Global News.
Schuster says he is blessed to have attended a Christian-based University and has made lifetime friends at California Baptist University. “I’m grateful for the strong Christian faith that is taught here at school and for just being able to get my bachelors and continue to do the sport I love. Ou te faafetai i Le Atua.., I would not be here without his plan, and am forever grateful”.
There is no rest for Champions, as the two-time Pacific gold medalist says he is moving straight into a Masters degree while continuing to pursue his dream to qualify for the Olympics, and represent Samoa in swimming.
“I’ll be actually starting my masters degree this week..my first class is tonight!..
“I’m going to be studying Engineering and hope to do research into the healthcare field in hopes of bringing knowledge back home to the Pacific..
“I’m also continuing my training towards qualifying for the Olympics,” says Brandon.
Son of environmentalist Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster and Samoa national swimming coach, Suzie Gwizdala Schuster, Brandon pays tribute to his parents and says it was hard not having them at his graduation due to global border lockdowns.
To mum and dad, “as I got ready to walk up and receive my degree, I immediately remembered all that you have done and sacrificed for me to be here, I know you couldn’t be here in person to celebrate but I know in my heart that you two will always be with me, I love you two so much and am so grateful for all that you have done for me.”
Brandon says his parents have pushed him throughout these past years, and is also blessed with the support of family and friends from the Pacific who are in the States.
His parents were up in the early hours of this morning; Toeolesulusulu in Samoa and Suzie in Hamilton, New Zealand, joining the celebrations through a live YouTube channel. “Getting myself organised to watch at 5:30am in the morning Samoa time, Brandon’s commencement ceremony at Cal Baptist University in Riverside CA..So proud of you son..To God be all the Glory.” posts Brandon’s proud father.
Suzie’s appreciation post thanks all who have helped their eldest boy during his journey at CBU. “Thank you Coach Rick and Coach Lisa for your daily presence. Thank you Uncle Gary Gwizdala and Nasrin ensuring that family was only a phone call away. Fa’afetai tele lava Francis Mona and Heni Anesi for your faithfulness. Family is forever, Cedric and I are so humbled with your love and encouragement since the beginning”.
Congratulations Brandon and God Bless.