May 10, 2004

More Information

Contact: Andrea Albright, University Relations, (785) 864-8860.

Former Navy helicopter pilot graduating at top of KU law school class

LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas student who has gone from top pilot to top graduate will carry the banner for the School of Law during the university's 132nd annual commencement ceremony May 23 at Memorial Stadium.

Bryan Didier, a Wichita native and graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., served on active naval duty for more than 10 years, including two deployments as a Seahawk helicopter pilot in the Arabian Gulf and as a staff member at military headquarters for Kosovo. After fulfilling his military commitment he returned to Kansas in 2001 to study law at KU.

Didier said that he majored in English at the Naval Academy with a promise to his father that he would pursue a law degree in the future. Didier said he and his wife, Jeremy, decided in 2001 to forgo the Navy's next assignment, which would have taken Didier and his family to Japan.

"It was a decision my wife and I came to," he said. "We were ready to start another chapter in our lives and weren't sure we wanted to be that far from our families."

Didier said he had approached his studies with the same focus he had when he served in the Navy, attending classes and studying from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. His plan proved to be successful, placing him at the top of the 2004 graduating class of the law school and giving him the honor of carrying the school's banner during the commencement procession.

"I feel a great sense of pride," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the students who I went through school with and the faculty and staff in the school. It's an honor to represent a group I think so highly of."

Didier plans to work with the Kansas City law firm of Seigfreid, Bingham, Levy, Selzer and Gee in corporate law and health care law.

Extended family members from the Wichita area, as well as Didier's wife and three children -- Noah, 5; Sophie, 3; and Theodore, 4 months -- plan to attend the graduation ceremony.

"I can't believe the time has gone by as quickly as it has," Didier said. "It's going to be nice to have this in the rearview mirror. I'm looking forward to the future."


This site is maintained by University Relations, the public relations office for the University of Kansas Lawrence campus. Information may be reused without permission; images may be reused with notice of copyright but not altered.

 • Contact us: | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045