On May 5, 2018, I graduated with my M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, while my brother Brian graduated with his M.S. in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky. This was a monumental and sentimental moment in the Bryson household, as we became the first in our family tree to earn a post-baccalaureate. Though I had been counting down to our graduations since August 22nd, 2017 (276 days to be exact), I did not expect to be overwhelmed with the amount of love shown to me on my big day.
This past weekend, I had family travel from Cincinnati and Kentucky, including my brother who drove 3 hours immediately after his own graduation to be present. My college roommate, Spades partner, and self-proclaimed “the best friend” Jerry drove with his wife Keisha, from Dayton, OH. My Coastal Carolina teammate and frequently mistaken twin, Nick Parks drove down from Purdue University. But the biggest surprise of the weekend came from Columbia, SC, where my chapter brothers drove 9 hours through the countryside to celebrate my new degree.
Tim with family and brothers
To say that my weekend was great would be an understatement. My entire weekend was spent with seven intelligent Black men who love to turn up, while also protecting their futures. From finance directors to male nurses and track Olympians to chief student affairs officers, WE are the epitome of Black excellence. I am glad I was able to give them a modified tour of Ohio State, including showing them the RPAC and Ohio Stadium.
I also had the pleasure of taking them to Ohio staples, Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream, as well as my favorite restaurant Piada. Despite not having A/C in the house all-weekend, I believe we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company with passionate discourse, brotherly love, and of course blue juice. Check out my brother Corey Jones’ YouTube channel for a behind the scenes look of our weekend.
I would be remiss if I did not give a shoutout to the one individual who has made my graduate school experience, whether she believes it or not. Beth Johnson, or as I call her Ms. Beth, has become synonymous with Ohio State for me because of several reasons. Not only was she influential during the recruitment process, but she also encouraged me to do my best work with integrity. Ms. Beth kept me humble, while also motivating me to chase the impossible in becoming the best version of myself. Simply put, I would not be the leader, scholar, or person I am if it weren’t for her altruistic leadership throughout my graduate school experience and for that, I am thankful.
Simply put, I could not have asked for a better weekend to celebrate my Master’s degree and close the end of a chapter in Columbus, OH. As I continue to still reflect on the past two years, I know I will have more to share regarding my graduate school experience and insight for individuals interested in HESA graduate programs or a career in athletics. However, what I do know, is that this weekend taught me that the men who traveled to Columbus are not just my fraternity brothers, college roommates, or former track teammates. They are my brothers – and we’re happy, we’re singing, and we’re colored.
Give me a high 5! 😊
Encourage somebody to be great today!