The French horn is his first love. "Every spare moment I get when I'm not directing the band, I find a room and practice French horn."

The French horn is his first love. "Every spare moment I get when I'm not directing the band, I find a room and practice French horn."

Brandon Hoeflein '13: The Drive to Excel

If Brandon Hoeflein’s condition had a name, it would be called “A-minusitis.” The 20-year-old McKendree junior - who boasts the credit hours of a senior and juggles demanding extracurricular activities without breaking a sweat - talked about his obsession while taking a rare break on campus.

“My grade point average is a personal struggle for me,” the psychology major from New Baden admitted. “I had a perfect score. Straight A’s. A 4.0. But I let my goal slip and got an A- in music history.”

So Brandon is retaking the course.


"I want that perfect 4.0 back..."


“My professors think I’m crazy but I want that perfect 4.0 back,” he said and shrugged. “Right now, it’s 3.984 – which just doesn’t have the ring of a 4.0.

“In a way, I’m kind of glad this happened to show my dedication to academics,” he continued. “I plan to put that in my letter to graduate school. Yes, I’m not perfect, but I will go the extra mile to be the best I can be.”

Right now, that “extra mile” includes being drum major of the McKendree Marching Bearcat Band, a key participant in the school’s Model United Nations program, a tutor for the University’s Academic Support Center and treasurer of the Psi Chi psychology honor society chapter.


"I learned more there than I could imagine."


If that weren’t impressive enough, Brandon also has worked in his family’s daycare for five years - and was recently named the facility’s assistant director. A self-proclaimed “people person,” he hopes to always serve the public in one capacity or another.

“I took last summer off from the daycare and worked at the Alumni House on campus,” he said. “It was a phenomenal summer. I learned more there than I could imagine. To be able to sit in on staff meetings and go from the planning stage to the execution - phenomenal.

“I also took two summer classes and played in a community concert band two nights a week. Oh, and I cantored for a church every weekend - and it wasn’t even my church.”

If Brandon wasn’t busy, he wouldn’t be Brandon. His energetic persona is well known around campus, where he is reputed as both a perfectionist and a young man who gets things done.


"I love the challenge ..."


The French horn is his first love. “Every spare moment I get when I’m not directing the band, I find a room and practice French horn,” he said. “I love the challenge it presents. I love the sound. I’ll always have the French horn.”


And the drive that fuels him? He’ll always have that, too.

“If I could stay at McKendree 12 years,” Brandon said, “I still couldn’t study all the things I’m interested in.”

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