Dear Dr. Long,
Earlier this month I received a letter from your office, requesting a response regarding my personal experience/testimonial while enrolled in the Human Relations program at Oklahoma University. This letter is prepared to offer my reply.
First, please allow me to thank you (and the members of the Human Relations Dept.) for the recognition, as well as the opportunity to share some of the most fascinating times of my life. I count it a most delightful privilege to impart to others, albeit in brief, some of the impacting effects the program has had on me.
Secondly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the professional integrity, patience, devotion and commitment to academic excellence that was exemplified by the professors. Honorable mention should also be made on behalf of the administrator’s and office personnel/faculty.
Although I graduated many years ago, to this day I am so grateful for the opportunity to have chosen that route. My life has been enriched in ways that can hardly be expressed in words. However, the benefits received through the Human Relations program can be reflected in the altruistic nature of giving of one’s self for the cause of betterment towards the human condition.
Lastly, when I undertook the challenge to excel in the Human Relations program I was a middle aged male. I was introduced to the program by a woman (in passing) who was already enrolled. She was not a whole lot younger than I. I became impressed by her manner and enthusiasm in describing the program I was surprised to find that the age average of those enrolled was much higher than I expected. Needless to say, my confidence was bolstered to the point of excitement as I felt much more comfortable in a classroom setting with others that were in my age group.
Another advantage was attending the University Center at Tulsa. At that time the campus was comprised of four Universities with separate curriculums-Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, Langston University, and Northeastern State.
Oklahoma University was the only college on campus (at that time) that offered a master’s program in the field of Human Relations. I thank God for that.
Having graduated from Northeastern State with a degree in Speech Communications, making the transition to the Human Relations program seemed relatively easy. Not having to drive to Tahlequah or Norman, OK was an extraordinary benefit. I chose the counseling track.
Like many of my fellow coeds, I was employed and sometimes my work schedule was demanding. Thankfully my co-workers understood my predicament and covered for me during my absence to attend classes-one co-worker in particular. During this time I learned that people are often willing to assist when they see your determination to accomplish something meaningful. I was equally amazed at the number of students that were married with children. Sometimes husbands and wives, mother’s and daughter’s (and I imagine) father’s and son’s were in the same program-maybe some of the same classes. It’s a beautiful thing to observe.
There were times when students came from miles around (far outside the city limits) to attend class. Again as it turned out, the class schedules were designed to accommodate almost every practical circumstance. Days, evenings, afternoons, and weekend class seminars were made available.
Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter with various means of financial aid being offered, there was little excuse for not pursuing a higher education if one’s desire was strong enough.
In bringing this letter to a close I must provide some space to acknowledge all of the radiant personalities I met along the way. Some became very dear friends. Most I have not seen since. I would not trade anything for my experience in the Human Relations program. A current retiree from the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau (with honors). Hope this has been helpful.
Posted on Tue, October 18, 2016
by Stacy Smith