Brett Richardson, Class of 2007
I graduated from TFA in 2007 and started college at Palm Beach Atlantic University where I played baseball. I then transferred to play at Murray State University in Murray, KY. I played baseball for one year there. I was also very involved with a weekly Bible study with a group of guys and with Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity where I served as our Vice President of Recruitment. I graduated from Murray State in 2012 with a BA in History and a minor in Business Administration.
After graduation, I moved to Nashville, TN for graduate school at Belmont. I received an MS in Sports Administration from Belmont in 2014. While in grad school I interned for the National Commodore Club at Vanderbilt which turned into a full-time position. The NCC is Vanderbilt’s athletic fundraising branch where I was involved with raising money for student-athlete scholarships. We also had three major capital campaigns while I was there for a new indoor football facility, training room, and baseball renovations. I just recently moved over to the university side in July, 2017. I am the Associate Director of Appeals where I oversee the direct marketing solicitations for all of the schools at Vanderbilt. Most of my projects are geared toward undergraduate and graduate alumni. We solicit their support for the annual funds for each of the schools to help provide scholarships and other budgetary needs.
Personally, I also got married to Allie Carnahan in June 2015. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University and teaches 5th grade. We currently live in Hendersonville, TN (a suburb of Nashville) with our dog Corbin. We attend Hendersonville Church of Christ and are involved in Sunday school. At our previous church, we served in the nursery as well.
I don’t know if I can fully put into words how TFA prepared me for life. Outside of my parents, TFA has had the biggest influence on my life and helped ground me in my beliefs and personal walk with God. There were three people who influenced me more than anyone else while I was a student. The first was Matt Ruta. He was the head of FCA and I had him for Algebra II. He showed me how to be an example to others and stand up for what I believe even when others won’t. The second was an answer you probably get from most alumni. Scott Toenges had a profound impact on my spiritual walk and is a great example of what a follower of Jesus looks like. There have been times since I graduated that I would have a question and would shoot him a message on Facebook to get his opinion. The last was Steve Sagraves. I have known Coach Sagraves since I was in kindergarten and had him for elementary PE. He was also my assistant baseball coach in high school. He taught me how to use my gifts to point others to Jesus. He also taught me about how to work hard even when others aren’t watching because we aren’t working for their approval anyways. My parents are also great friends with the Sagraves’ so I stay up to date on his recent health battle. He is now a perfect example of someone who doesn’t rely on his own strength, but on the strength God provides. Once you get into college and then begin a career, you are surrounded by so many different views and face a lot of struggles that you never knew existed. If it were not for the teachers and coaches that poured into my life early on, it would have been much tougher to trust in God’s plan for my life. I know so many people that abandon their faith in college, but mine has grown stronger due to the truth I was taught. I would want to just relay to current students at TFA that once they graduate they are going to be faced with times of doubt and confusion, but God’s Word and the love of Jesus always pulls you through.