Getting to Know Bryan Alexander ’24
Half a world away in his home in Jakarta, Indonesia, computer engineering major Bryan Alexander ’24 isn’t just looking forward to starting his freshman year at Santa Clara University.
He’s glad to be alive.
During a high school mission service learning trip last year to a small, rural village, Alexander’s appendix had burst.
But for a series of unexplained coincidences—tiny miracles, he calls them—well, let’s just say remote learning is the least of his worries today.
“I think God helped me a lot during that time,” Alexander says.
A physician who happened to be on the trip immediately diagnosed the classic symptoms, from the recent sharp pain in Alexander’s lower right abdomen to a spiking fever. The doctor told the teen to get to a hospital—not in Jakarta, but in Singapore.
The earliest flight Alexander and his mother could take was booked, except one seat for himself. At the last minute, someone cancelled, allowing his mom to travel with him.
In Singapore, emergency room staff wheeled the then-16-year-old into an operating room. Back home in Jakarta, an infection erupted, forcing the teen to return to Singapore for more surgery.
“But here’s another miracle,” he recalls. “My doctor decided that because of my age, instead of surgery, it would be better to put me on antibiotics.”
Alexander knows how lucky he truly was: not long after, a 30-year-old family friend traveling in Bali died of a burst appendix.
“I think God has put some direction in my life,” he says, adding that he recently joined a youth group at his church.
Meanwhile, Alexander is thrilled to be starting at Santa Clara—even remotely.
“I wanted to go to a smaller school that would allow me to better connect with my peers and my professors,” he says of the computer science and engineering courses he’s taking.
The University’s Jesuit foundation is another important factor.
“I value Santa Clara’s commitment to creating technologies that create a better world,” says Alexander. “It embraces a learning approach that encourages us to engage with all communities.”
Written by Tracy Seipel