Working at Brandeis is all in the family

Longtime employee Dennis Belyea, P'18, has an extra reason to celebrate on Father's Day: his daughter graduated from Brandeis and now works on campus too.

Abigail Belyea and her father DennisPhoto/Abigail Belyea

Abigail Belyea and her father, Dennis

Most college students get a little distance from their parents while they’re living on campus, but for the past four years Abigail Belyea ’18 has been an exception to that rule.

Belyea ’18 spent her four years at Brandeis with her father, Dennis, a very short walk away.

That’s because Dennis is a carpenter in facilities services, a position he’s held for 30 years. The Holliston, Massachusetts native was excited when his daughter chose to attend Brandeis.

Needless to say, the father-daughter duo had a few interesting run-ins on campus.

“It was a little difficult at first,” Abigail said. “He used to play some jokes on me when I was walking around campus, especially with my friends, like he would call my name or whistle at me. There was this one time that he called out for me from across the dining hall.”

“But after a little while, it was nice to have him close by,” she added. “We could get together for lunch if we wanted. It was just really nice to have him close by.”

Belyea, an International and Global Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies double-major, graduated in May but has maintained a presence at Brandeis.

She is currently working for the Brandeis National Committee as part of the Office of Institutional Advancement, a job she’s done since her sophomore year. She plans to stay on campus through the summer and then pursue a law degree.

So now that both she and her father are both staff members, do they carpool to work?

“No,” Belyea said with a laugh. “He comes in too early – a lot earlier than I do.”

The Belyea family has a number of staff connections to Brandeis. Dennis’ mother, Pat, also worked at the Brandeis National Committee, while his stepfather, Jim, also worked in facilities services. Dennis’ sister even spent a summer working at the faculty club.

Dennis Belyea has been a staff member has come to love the Brandeis community through his three decades at the university. Unsurprisingly, however, his favorite member of the community is his daughter.

“At first I didn’t know if she would apply to Brandeis and choose to come,” he said. “When she did, I was really excited.”

“Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to work here, why I’ve been here so long,” Belyea added. “And honestly it’s the people. There are a lot of great, wonderful people that make this community so great.”

Categories: Alumni, General

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