Office ofAlumni and Constituent Relations

Bryan Herb '95

How Herb landed in PLU is a strange story, as he recalls: "Classmates of mine were heading to PLU for a tour, and at the time I was interested in studying advertising so I decided to go, thinking that PLU offered an advertising major. As it turned out, at the time it did not, but walking around campus, something just felt right."

During Herb's freshmen year, he had an early morning English class for which "remarkably," he notes, "I didn't mind waking up to attend. Dr. Campbell was so passionate about his subject - he made me see the true art of literature." Hooked, Herb ended up double majoring in Public Relations and English with a Religion minor. One fo the books he read in those early freshman days was The Awakening by Kate Chopin. This text challenged him to confront societal norms that didn't feel right, such as forcing himself to be straight when he simply wasn't. Herb notes that, to this day, The Awakening remains one of his favorite books.

Today Herb lives in Chicago and runs a travel agency, Zoom Vacations, his business specialized's in services for GLBTQ travelers, their families and friends. He is the past board chair for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), and his agency has won numerous industry awards, including Tripoutgaytravel Award: Best GLBT Tour Operator; Planet Out Award: Best Small Tour Operator; Out Traveler Reader's Choice Award: Best Small Gay Tour Provider; and the IGLTA Award for Travel Excellence : Best Website Promoting Gay Travel. In addition to running his agency, Herb also works as a travel expert for the Travel Channel's hit show "Vacation Challenge" as well as being the Gay travel expert for the world's top-rated gay and lesbian travel show, "Bump."

When Herb thinks back to his time at PLU, he mentions tha the most positive thing from his experience (besides the great friends he made) was the Campus mInistry. According to him, "When I came out, I would have thought that the ministry would have been the least supportive, most closed-minded entity on campus. To my delight, I could not have been more wrong, and I learned a lot about my own biases and preconceived notions. The campus ministry took an embracing, incredibly thoughtful and cerebral stance on my gay identity. They taught me firsthand that there was a place for gay people within the Christian faith, and they taught me how to really view and embrace Jesus' message. They helped me feel healthy about who I am, and for this I am indebted to them."