Brian Gaffey, Dean of Student Life, brings an invigorating passion to Oliverian’s mission of helping young people find their place in the world. Part manager, part counselor, part activities coordinator, part mentor, and part parent, Brian embodies the perfect combination of compassion and tough love to all students who pass through these doors.
Prior to Oliverian, as residential counselor and natural science educator at Mountain Valley Treatment Center, Brian worked with adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, and emotional disorders. At Mountain Valley, Brian was considered a “teen whisperer” and still has this strong ability to connect with even the most unreachable students. Prior to Mountain Valley, Brian worked as director of residential life at the Savannah River Challenge Program, a wilderness program located in rural southeast Georgia.
An outdoor and adventure enthusiast, Brian can most often be found exploring the local rivers and woods with his wife, Julie, and their four young children. Brian is also a dedicated volunteer firefighter and brings an enthusiasm for stewardship and service-learning to Oliverian students.
What do you love about Oliverian?
“What I love about Oliverian is the close-knit family like atmosphere.”
What do you love about working with students?
“What motivates me is that I remember what it was like being all struggling teen. I remind myself that what seems like little issues to adults can seem like huge issues to teens.”