Like a lot of people who find themselves as freshmen at Tyler Junior College, I was unsure of myself in so many ways when I attended my first classes in 1994.
It was because of the influence of the TJC faculty that I began to grow as a person. They made courses such as calculus, physics, biology and chemistry both challenging and engaging. For the first time in my academic life, I applied my athletic competitiveness to my studies and TJC faculty members like Dr. Gene Kirkpatrick – a tremendous history professor – fueled those competitive juices.
Following my first semester, I was invited to join Alpha Omicron, TJC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of junior and community colleges. After attending my first Alpha Omicron meeting I was lured to the infectious charisma exuded by Gigi Delk and Judy Turman, the organization’s invaluable faculty advisers. It was during this period that I began to transform from a former athlete who was afraid to speak in front of large groups into a confident, outgoing student leader who embraced addressing auditoriums filled with hundreds, even thousands of strangers. I would even be given the opportunity to deliver the commencement address at my own graduation.
At TJC, I grew to treasure every element of student life. I joined numerous student organizations, served as an officer in the Student Senate and volunteered to operate audio equipment for Dr. Cheryl Rogers and Harmony & Understanding. During Homecoming Week, you could routinely find me alongside my buddy, Scott Mischnick, stationed in front of Rogers Student Center, keeping the drum beating tradition alive (we each logged more than 100 hours one fall semester!).
I was named to the First Team of the prestigious All-USA Community & Junior College Academic Team, jointly announced by Phi Theta Kappa, the American Association of Community Colleges and USA Today. My classmate, Jamie Melton and I were the only two First Teamers who were attending the same college – quite a rarity, and a tribute to the academic quality we were experiencing at TJC.
As Lewis Hall specialist, I formed an intramural flag football team and among the players I recruited was a quiet freshman named Pat. Pat joined the team and we discovered that he was a phenomenal receiver. He left TJC after one year and I lost contact with him. Imagine my shock when I saw his name announced as the Dallas Cowboys’ 7th round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft! Today, Patrick Crayton is now a member of the San Diego Chargers, and I am extremely proud of his accomplishments.
In January 2000, I left Tyler to move to the Dallas- Fort Worth area to formally complete my education. I graduated from University of Texas at Arlington Magna Cum Laude in December 2001, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 occurred during my final semester at UTA and, frankly, shaped my future in a profound way. Following those events, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in a National Security related field. I would have loved to enter federal law enforcement, but my injured knees simply would not permit such an endeavor. I found my niche at US Investigations Services (USIS), where I was hired as a Special Investigator in April 2002 and was able to contribute to National Security at a time when my nation needed it most.
I am still working for USIS, although I have promoted multiple times to my current role as the Business Unit Operations Manager and Interim Regional Vice President for the Central Business Unit. In this capacity, I lead the CBU’s investigative force, spanning 14 states, and guide its strategic operations. While I miss being on the ground conducting investigations, I take great pride in having an opportunity to lead over 600 employees dedicated to the National Security mission.
TJC set the stage for my achievements. It provided me a lifetime’s worth of memories, a foundation of friendships that cannot be cracked and the skill set and self-confidence to achieve whatever I aspire. I owe a great deal to TJC and the special faculty and staff members, such as Brian Turman, who touched my life and are responsible for nurturing, cultivating, inspiring and catalyzing the transition into my life’s next phase.
I truly cherish the day when my beautiful wife, Jody, and I can take our daughter, Addyson, on her first stroll across TJC’s manicured campus and I can tell her tales of my time as an Apache, truly an unforgettable experience.
- TJC Hero & Friend Adam Daley met his wife Jody in 2006 and the couple married in 2008. Their daughter, Addyson (Addy) Renee Daley, was born in June 2009. Daley has continued his commitment to community service, starting an USIS Dallas District employee toy drive in 2005 that benefits the Betty Ford 5 Star Kids program for children who are the victims of their parents’ drug and/or alcohol addictions. He co-chaired the USIS United Way campaigns in 2009 and 2010 and assisted in organizing an inaugural United Way Day of Caring last month. He is also a registered volunteer for Super Bowl XLV, to be played at Cowboys Stadium.