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Be the Difference

Opus College of Engineering Award Recipients

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD

ByrneBrian P. Byrne, Eng ’65
Brookfield, Wis.

Sitting at his kitchen table in 1979, acting as a salesman, engineer, project manager and field superintendent, Brian could not have imagined the success he would have.

That year, he launched Briohn Building Corp, a construction company with in-house architecture, interior design, general contracting, structural engineering and property management capabilities. Brian believes that as a first-generation college graduate, his career was shaped with help from Marquette. “The success I've experienced has come from the Jesuit education I received and the friendships I made at Triangle Fraternity, friendships which have lasted over 50 years,” he says.

The Marquette values of excellence, faith, leadership and service are all traits Brian has carried through his personal life as well as his business. “The focus of my life has always been my family, my faith and my business. Without the first two, I would not have been successful in the third,” he says.

As chairman of Briohn, Brian’s role today is mainly mentoring and interacting with his employees. “I am particularly proud that our organization is 40 years strong and has now passed to the next generation of our family,” he says.

Brian has been married to his wife, Cellene, Arts ’65, for 54 years, and they have six daughters. Outside of work, he spends most of his time with his family, especially his 15 grandchildren. “Although many years have passed since my college days, I've never lost the pride in being a Marquette Engineering alumnus,” he says.

Fun Fact:

In the 1965 Varsity Varieties, Brian performed along with six other engineering students as one of the Seven Dwarfs in a Snow White skit.