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George Wythe University The Statesman
July 2013

Home / Archive / Campus News - January 2008

New GWC Mentor

The following is an excerpt from an interview with new George Wythe College Freshman Mentor, James Ure.

Statesman:  When did you become interested in this type of education?

Ure: Well, my family was the type that frequently had big discussions and debates around the dinner table and each child—from about the time they were potty trained—was typically asked what they had learned during the day.  When everyone had spoken, my mom often had literature to discuss with us and my dad always seemed to be talking about the Constitution and boiling about things political.  So I grew up in a household that valued education and involvement.  But the year that really spurred my interest in this type of education was ninth grade.  During my ninth-grade year we moved to St. George, Utah and several of my brothers and I decided that we’d like to home school for the year.  I remember studying literature at my mom’s knees and reading great novels for hours at a time, but I also remember things like milking our cow together early in the morning, planting and weeding our garden, working on our family business together, building rafts, burning stuff down, and riding my dirt bike with my brother Richard.  It was a magical time of life and I have a lot of light associated with this year when I think back on it.  I didn’t really feel this feeling to the same degree again until I found George Wythe College.

Statesman: What initially interested you in George Wythe College? 

Ure: I had been going to BYU and having some great experiences but I felt like I wasn’t learning about society and human nature to the depth that I wanted to, so when I heard about a month-long summer seminar called The Roots of Freedom I decided to attend.  During this seminar, which was taught by Dr. Groft, I felt that same feeling of pure learning and light that I felt during my ninth-grade year.  I had felt occasional bursts of it during my time at BYU where I had some really great literature and religion classes, the opportunity to teach at the Mission Training Center (which is connected with my religion), and the opportunity to intern for the Majority Whip in the Utah House of Representatives.  But not until that Roots of Freedom seminar did I feel such an uninhibited love of learning and intense focus on human nature and how society works and/or should work. 

Statesman:  What else can you tell me about your educational background?

Ure: I spent a couple of years at GWC, finished my last year of BYU, and then went to South Texas College of Law in Houston, where I recently graduated.  Although there is much about law school that needs reforming, I managed to thoroughly enjoy the process (well, at least the second and third years).  I felt like the skills and attributes I gained at GWC provided me with the tools I needed to manipulate the system to work for my education rather than vise-versa.  I ended up doing well academically and serving on the law review, but my favorite part was being involved with student organizations, where I was privileged to host debates and speeches featuring prominent judges and legal figures from around the country.  I’m grateful for these experiences and I’m looking forward to doing a month-long Pre-Law Seminar at GWC in summer, 2008.

Statesman:  What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

Ure: The freshmen, of course!  While the Sophomore, Junior and Senior mentors get to do some truly great stuff with their students this year, Dr. Schulthies, Mrs. Smailes and I get to be the mentors who first introduce students to the GWC classroom, to the on-campus study of the classics, and to principles of government and the history of America.  We also get to help students develop the foundational study skills and attributes that will be built on in the years to come.  It’s truly an honor to serve as a freshmen mentor.

Statesman:  Tell our readers about your family.

Ure: My delightful wife Angela is also looking forward to being involved in the GWC community.  She plays the violin beautifully, is working on her degree from GWC, and does an amazing job with our two children (Bethany is two and Joshua is six months old).  And, she is hilarious.  In our free time we enjoy being outdoors, watching movies and plays, losing to other couples at games, and anything to do with chips and salsa.  We are thrilled to be back in Cedar City and look forward to helping generate the warm light of education that characterizes George Wythe College.