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Posted 4.14.06

The 2004 Alumni Scholarship Recipient Jim Armour is graduating on May 21st. He shares his thoughts about his time at Weatherhead.

A native of Cleveland, Jim’s family relocated early in his life to North Carolina and then settled in Nashville when he was 11 years old. “I really grew up in Nashville,” Jim explained. “I finished grade school and went through high school there, and now all of my immediate family is down there, including my parents, my brother and my sister.”

Ohio drew Jim back for his bachelor’s degree. After his undergraduate work was completed, his life took a unique turn when he became a priest. “I did my undergrad at the University of Dayton and then went to the seminary in Chicago,” he remembered. “I was a priest for five years in Nashville. It was truly a wonderful experience.”

Luckily, Jim’s extended family is still in Cleveland so when he decided to leave the priesthood and go back to school, his heart brought him back to Ohio. “Applying to Weatherhead was a natural choice for me,” he said. “I went through the application process and was really, really surprised and honored to receive the alumni scholarship. I was also accepted to Yale, but the scholarship was such an attractive offer that it was an easy decision after that point. I was so excited for the opportunity and to be honored with such an incredible offer.”

Since Jim had decided to follow a new course in life, he was faced with some important choices. “I had to make some decisions about what I was going to do next, what new direction I wanted to head,” he stated. “I made the decision somewhat early on that the nonprofit sector was an area that would keep me connected to some of my roots from my life in Nashville, but at the same time give me a new direction and allow me to still feel like I have some meaning in my work. I concentrated in nonprofit management here at Weatherhead, and I am in the process right now of applying and interviewing for several jobs in that area.”

“My time here at Weatherhead and my time here in Cleveland have convinced me that I want to stay in Cleveland, and that I would actually love to be involved in community and economic development in the city of Cleveland itself,” Jim acknowledged. “I would like to be part of the continued rebirth of this city and my time here at Weatherhead has been a really important part of my decision to stay in Cleveland.”

When asked what he would say to a student contemplating a master’s degree from Weatherhead, Jim emphasized the human factor. “It’s important to visit and meet some of the wonderful people you will have the opportunity to study and be with over the two year period,” he emphasized. “There is incredible diversity here, there’s a wealth of very intelligent, very talented people. The faculty and the staff are willing to help you and to work with you to ensure you get the most out of the two years. This education is not just about taking tests and showing up for class, it’s also about relationships and getting to know people and taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities and resources here at Weatherhead.”

 

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