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Coming Back Home to Gaylord

Gaylord Extra: September Edition

Coming Back Home to Gaylord

By Izzy Wilson, Gaylord College Class of 2026

Tight knit communities such as Gaylord College have encouraged a family-like community which is full of students, professors, and faculty. This community stays with students beyond graduation and although Gaylord Alumni are in varying job positions in numerous fields, some of them end up coming back to their alma mater as faculty and staff.  

Adam Croom, an assistant professor at Gaylord College, has come back to his alma mater where he graduated as an advertising student in 2009 to teach. After a few years at OU as a Director of Marketing and PR for OU Economic Development, an advertising professor approached Croom to gauge his interest in teaching a PR class. He was ready to reconnect, so in 2013, he became an adjunct before graduating to a member of the faculty in 2017.  

When asked about his time as a student, Croom recalled the tight-knit feel of the college’s community, something he got to see from a special perspective as a Gaylord Ambassador.

Comparing today to then, Croom doesn’t see much difference in the way that Gaylord performed outreach and connection building, saying, “In some ways…the footprint’s grown, but the community still feels very tight knit.” In the future, he would love to see more interaction with student organization reunions, specifically the Ambassadors, who he saw as “having a lot of love for [the] place,” and hoped for them to better reconnect with the college as Alumni.  

Hannah Herron graduated from Gaylord with an undergraduate degree in professional writing in 2020. During her years as a student, Herron did work as a teaching assistant and later as a graduate assistant. She found her love of teaching, which made it an easy choice when she had the chance to teach as an adjunct professor.  

Herron had a deep appreciation for her professors and staff, who encouraged her and other students to connect with each other. She felt like the inter-major connections she made were unique. The lessons that her professors instilled in her were something that Herron wanted to pass on to the next generation of students.  

As a student when the COVID-19 outbreak hit, Herron had a different perspective on how special Gaylord’s community is. “[It] shook up a lot of colleges and a lot of students had a hard time coming back to campus in person and reconnecting with people. Gaylord, it seemed to happen more seamlessly than in other places…” she said before mentioning that she sees different things in the other campuses that she taught at. “We created this culture,” she added. A culture that she described as ‘hit the ground,’ ‘togetherness’ mentality that allowed students to form friendships while achieving their college goals and pursuing their career. 

Adam Croom.
Adam Croom
Hannah Herron.
Hannah Herron