I had the special privilege and blessing of knowing Mr. Odom during my time in college. Among other things, he was involved in securing corporate partnerships so engineering students could be placed for coop positions. He was talented at building trust with those corporations, and even better at matching those corporations with a student who would best fit them, and grow with them. He was much more than that to me. He was a friend and mentor.
I don’t remember Mr. Odom without a smile. I could walk into his office on any given day and get Mr. Odom at his best – listening, encouraging and guiding. For an engineering student whose workload was demanding and whose professors set a high bar, Mr. Odom was a bright spot in the day.
The thing that struck me was his consistency. Yes, most of us can be cheerful most of the time…with folks we like. Mr. Odom seemed to be that way all the time and with everyone who sought him out.
Beyond college, we continued a friendship that has lasted for over 15 years. I know even today that I can call him anytime, and he will be there for me.
He played a critical role in my development – personally, professionally and spiritually. For that, I will always be grateful!