Major General John Long
Cathryn L. and Jon R. Withrow Leadership Scholars Program, OU College of Arts and Sciences
|Maj. Gen. John Long (center), a volunteer for the OU’s Cathryn and Jon Withrow Leadership Scholars Program, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren (left) and President Anil Gollahalli (right) during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. They are joined by Long’s mentees, Matt Warner (left), Maggie Willetts and Jake Morgan. The scholars program matches OU College of Arts & Sciences alumni with student leaders. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
The Withrow Leadership Scholars Program pairs outstanding students with an alumnus or friend of the College of Arts and Sciences for a mentoring relationship. Participating students meet regularly for leadership development activities, guest speakers, social events and community service.
A native of Madill, Major General Long served 35 years in the U.S. Army before retiring and starting a successful marketing and retail sales consulting company, which he led for 20 years. Since his retirement, he has been more engaged than ever, said Adrianne Jablonski, director of corporate engagement for the OU College of Arts and Sciences. In 2006, he joined the OU College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and has been its most active and dedicated mentor for the Leadership Scholars Program.
“When I learned about this mentoring award, I immediately thought of Gen. Long,” Jablonski said. “He is without a doubt the most attentive and caring mentor we have ever had in the College of Arts and Sciences. He takes his responsibilities as a mentor very seriously and continues to mentor his students after graduation and well into their careers. He attends their weddings, promotions and other special events.”
While most mentors take on one student and meet minimum expectations, Gen. Long exceeds expectations mentoring multiple students and continuing those relationships long after students graduate, Jablonski said.
“His mentees often refer to him as a life coach,” she said. “Regardless of a student’s background and career aspirations, Gen. Long finds a way to connect with his students. His honesty and willingness to help our students think critically doesn’t go unnoticed. Through my years of working in the College of Arts and Sciences, I have heard countless examples of students who have learned life lessons from Gen. Long and his wisdom.”
One of Gen. Long’s mentees wrote the following about his mentorship: “Gen. Long has gone above and beyond just merely being my mentor. He has challenged me, encouraged me and pushed me to do things I didn’t think were possible. I can’t imagine where I would be without Gen. Long’s guidance and good humor. He is not only an extraordinary mentor, but he is also a sincere and humble person.”