Posts Tagged ‘Georgia State University’

The Grateful Dad

GSU BrochureLittle did I know how a lunch at Dreamland BBQ would set off a series of moments that would significantly alter the life of our son. It simply started as two friends enjoying some pulled pork and ended with….well, it hasn’t ended.

Jim Barber, of M3 Companies, was the tenant representative for our insurance firm. He had brokered a great deal for our lease, and thereafter I often called on him to assist with reviewing charges from the landlord and other tenant surprises that made their way to my desk. Jim and I developed a friendship that extended beyond business. Our friendship led to occasional lunch meetings at Dreamland where we shared business, faith, family and college football; It didn’t matter he favored “War Eagle” and I, “Roll Tide.”

On this particular day as we were sharing updates on our family, I casually mentioned how my son appeared to be losing his zeal for school. As a sophomore at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, Seth had recently conveyed he was having a difficult time staying motivated in his pursuit of a major in Hospitality. He wasn’t getting much direction, wasn’t sure what classes he needed to take and was feeling lost. I “happened” to share Seth’s frustration with Jim. Who surprised me by saying, “I’ll mention it to Diana.” Diana was Jim’s wife and, unbeknown to me, “happened” to be a full-time Senior Lecturer at the School of Hospitality Administration at GSU. College—life!–would never be the same for Seth.

The Tipping Point

I remember the excitement in Seth’s voice as he phoned to tell me about his conversation with Dr. Barber. Suddenly he had a renewed interest in school and was excited about Hospitality. Dr. Barber explained which courses he needed and how to get the best out of his time at GSU. Continue reading


A College Graduation Letter

This is an edited version of the letter I gave my daughter for her college graduation one year ago. – Jack


You are one of the true joys of my life. You have grown from a young girl to a young adult with whom I enjoy conversing. I am extremely proud of you in so many ways. Though ashamed I could not pay your way through college and you are saddled with debt, that shame is overshadowed by how proud I am of how you have worked your way through school and proven to be a responsible student and employee. As you graduate and finish Georgia State University I am swollen with pride.

A gift for Amber just after I read this letter to her.

It hasn’t been an easy road for you. While others had their way paid by family, grants or scholarships, you walked a tougher road by working your way through school. When others were playing and hanging out with friends, you were heading off to work. You lacked sleep. You had fewer hours to study and prepare for class than many of your friends. Because of your work schedule, you walked lonely paths through Centennial Park and the streets of Atlanta to your dorm many nights ….and wandered through deserted parking decks Continue reading