Be Great and Do Great Things: Mark Barber Jr., Today’s Hercules Scholar, Lives By This Motto

Mark Barber Jr.


GPA: 3.5
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Major: Music Education (instrumental)
Classification: Senior
Career goal: Music teacher, band director

Congratulations to Mark Barber, Jr., today’s Hercules Scholar from Langston University. Get to know Mark in his letter to the Tom Joyner Foundation below.

My name is Mark Barber, Jr. and I am currently attending Langston University. I am an instrumental music major as well as a graduating senior. I grew up on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in a violent community with little to no positive role models. I constantly watched my single mother struggle to provide for my sister and I always felt like I would be the one to get us out of our situation. So I made sure that education was my priority. I use my mother as motivation because I cannot wait to give her all that she deserves.

Williard Pitts, a supportive alumnus of my high school and now fraternity brother, was a great influence in my life aside from my mother. In high school, he helped me make the decision to attend Langston University. He also encouraged me to apply for Langston’s E.P. McCabe Scholarship, which I don’t know how I would have made it this far without it. He was so full of wisdom and I would constantly seek enlightenment from him. Unfortunately, he passed away about two years ago, but his legacy is still alive. He has done so much and impacted so many, that he is still a big influence in my life.

My personal motto to live by is to “be great and do great things.” I put my best foot forward with anything I do. I am in the Langston University Scholars Club, a Langston University Ambassador, a former Langston University Marching Pride Band member, a member of the Langston Concert Chorale, a member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc., a two-time honoree in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and currently reigning as the 2017-18 Mr. Langston University. My involvement truly exceeds these affiliations, but that was just to name a few.

Upon graduation, I plan on teaching music and being a prestigious band director in Oklahoma. I would like to introduce the students to opportunities they never knew existed. I plan on mentoring the youth and showing them that the world is far bigger than the communities they come from. Ultimately, I want to get my doctorate degree and continue to impact the world through music and education.

Help more young men at Langston University like Mark. Click here and make a donation today.

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.