James Thomas Gordon
“I am indebted to the University of Oklahoma for being an intricate part of my development, as I arrived a boy and graduated a young man with a passion for life’s service. I currently serve as the director of residences at The St. Regis San Francisco, the most coveted hotel and residential address in the city. I have utilized my fine education, practical skills, and journey of many life transitions to ultimately arrive to this very privileged standing.”
I would like to share a story with you. There was a young, African-American man who grew up in southeast Oklahoma City. He was a student who matriculated through the Oklahoma City Public Schools District. In his junior year in high school, he was selected to be a student in the Upward Bound Program, a Trio program designed to provide exposure and educational guidance to young minds about the possibilities of pursuing higher education.
During this young man’s period of time in the program, he was introduced to educational institutions across the state of Oklahoma. Of the many visits, the one to the University of Oklahoma was the most profound. The young man knew he wanted to attend this school; however, he did not feel he would be admitted. Thanks to the encouragement of his parents and the Oklahoma City Upward Bound Program, the young man applied and was actually admitted. Not only was he accepted, but he was also extended a student scholarship and the opportunity to serve as a student worker, an invaluable resource to financially cover the cost of his room and board for the academic year.
In fall 1999, the young man arrived at the University of Oklahoma with great anxiety and a feeling of inadequacy. The young man felt the university was going to be overwhelming and scholastically beyond his learning capacity. His freshman year, he did his best. He studied earnestly and utilized the university’s resources of the Writing Center and Learning Lab to help him build competency and receive personal assistance on the subject matter. As a result, he earned a respectable GPA in his first semester.
The young man began to find his own, declaring a major in business management and marketing. He also took on volunteer opportunities his sophomore year. By junior year, he was chairing various committees, including Campus Activities Council Homecoming sponsorship committee. By senior year, this young man was at his fullest potential. He took on leadership roles, specifically as president of the Black Student Association, one of the greatest privileges in his tenure. The young man also served as a resident advisor and became a member of the esteemed organization, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
As you would expect, this young man is yours truly, James Thomas Gordon. I am indebted to the University of Oklahoma for being an intricate part of my development, as I arrived as a boy and graduated as a young man with a passion for life’s service. I currently serve as the director of residences at The St. Regis San Francisco, the most coveted hotel and residential address in the city. I have utilized my fine education, practical skills, and journey of many life transitions to ultimately arrive to this very privileged standing.
Please allow my story to be a living testament of the leading education and long lasting experiences that await you at the University of Oklahoma. I wish you the very best in your educational pursuits and certainly hope to be able to call you a fellow Sooner in the coming months!
James Thomas Gordon
B.S. Management & Marketing with a minor in African & African American Studies
Director of Residences, The St. Regis San Francisco