First-generation college student Joshua Tucker, completing law degree, will take on Ph.D. next
Among his family members who are the first generation to attend college, Joshua Quinn Tucker, of West Point, was the first son to obtain a college degree.
Make that two college degrees.
During the University of Mississippi‘s 2017 Commencement, Tucker was presented a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.
Two degrees might have been enough for most students, but Tucker didn’t end his higher education journey there: This weekend, he is graduating again, with a Juris Doctor. And in the fall? He’ll be back to begin his pursuit of a Ph.D. in Education.
Tucker said he wouldn’t have had the academic success he has achieved without his family or scholarships.
“Despite neither of my parents receiving a college education, they stressed the need for an education,” he said. “On my mom’s side, I have three sisters, all of whom have a college education from institutions in Mississippi.
“Personally, if it was not for my previous undergraduate scholarships and my current law school scholarships, the trajectory of my life would have been a lot different.”
Although he’s completing his seventh academic year at Ole Miss, Tucker said he initially did not consider UM among his college options. All that changed when he attended the APEX Leadership Summit on campus in 2012.
“That was my first time experiencing Ole Miss,” he said. “At the conclusion of the summer session, I applied before leaving campus. Since then, I have fallen in love with Ole Miss and the Oxford community.”
It was his fondness for the university that convinced him to pursue a Juris Doctor at the School of Law after completing his undergraduate career. Throughout his time at the university, Tucker has served his school, his fellow students and his community by getting involved with a variety of organizations.
He was a senator with the Associated Student Body, vice president with the Luckyday Residential College Community Council and the Residence Hall Association, a scholar with the Luckyday Success program and a member of the Student Bar Association, Dean’s Leadership Council, Public Interest Law Foundation and the Black Law Students Association. Tucker also worked as a student employee in the Division of Student Affairs.
His time as a student, his experience as a member of several student organizations and his employment with UM convinced him that his professional career should be in higher education. To achieve that professional goal, Tucker begins working on a doctorate in education this fall.
“After serving in multiple positions here on campus, I’ve discovered that my passion for student success and higher education is dynamically fulfilling. And I’ve learned that I love helping students from all walks of life.”
Tucker’s exceptional college career would not have been possible without the many scholarships he has been awarded. This support has come from the Phelps Dunbar Law, Reuben Anderson Law, Bledsoe, Luckyday and Academic Excellence scholarships, as well as a Mississippi HELP grant.
“Like many students here at Ole Miss, I would not have been able to participate in these programs without the help of scholarship donors,” Tucker said. “For those of us who may not have the financial means, scholarships provide a way for us to fulfill our dreams.
“Now, even though I am running out of degrees to receive, I am looking forward to giving back to those who have given so much to me: Ole Miss.”
By Jonathan Scott/ Office of Development