As “High School Day” dawned on our vibrant campus, anticipation hung. The faculty and staff of our business school had been diligently preparing our exhibit, eager to showcase all the fantastic things we had to offer. Dr. Hamilton and Professor Grayson, seasoned veterans of these events, were there to guide me through my first experience as a dean.
While I had always felt like family as a faculty member, stepping into the role of a dean brought a unique set of responsibilities. However, I had unwavering faith in my team. Their meticulous planning and dedication were evident, even though we had to forgo our business school selfie station due to space constraints.
As the day unfolded, the campus came alive beyond our wildest expectations. Over 650 high school students descended upon our campus, and the atmosphere was electrifying. There’s something about the vibe at a black college that’s truly unique, and the high school students were feeding off the program’s energy.
The show’s star was the “Langston University Marching Pride,” Langston’s renowned marching band. Their music filled the air with infectious enthusiasm, setting the stage for an unforgettable day.
At 2 pm, our business school was ready to shine. Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Huang, Professor Grayson, Mrs. O’Bryan, and our dedicated student workers, Melo and Carmen, stood prepared to present our programs to the curious high school students. It was a moment of pride as we saw genuine interest in what we had to offer.
I had the privilege of engaging in conversations with both students and parents. Our shared noble goal was to provide education to Black students and other underserved communities, and this high school day was a promising start.
The life of a dean is indeed different. While most folks work from 8 am to 5 pm if lucky, a dean’s role involves diverse experiences beyond the traditional workday.
Later in the day, Professor Grayson was invited to an event hosted by Paycom, a company where many of my former OBU students had found their place. I arrived slightly later than expected due to a clash of events, but I was thoroughly impressed by the professionalism and curiosity of the computer science students. Professor Grayson’s guidance had prepared them well.
Where else could you find such engagement and enthusiasm from black students in Oklahoma? It’s right here, at our university. Today’s experience reinforced why I am here, and our mission is crucial. Thousands of students, like those in the computer science program, deserve a student-centered experience that empowers them to achieve greatness.
Reflecting on this week’s adventures, I am reminded of our business school’s immense potential and promise. The journey is just beginning, but we will continue shaping futures and creating opportunities for future generations. ???????????? #Empowerment #StudentCenteredEducation #FutureLeaders