Student Spotlight: James O'Loughlin

Chris Richardson


At 72 years young, James O’Loughlin has developed quite the resume. After spending decades in the military, O’Loughlin began his studies at The W in 2010. He was awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees in 2011 and 2013, but he decided to continue his education and pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not in class, O’Loughlin can often be found in the school’s cafeteria or gym, and when he learned about The Spectator, he sent a request to be interviewed for our Student Spotlight series, so that he could share his story with students all across the campus. 

Q: Where are you originally from? 
A: “Before I moved to Mississippi 22 years ago, I lived in New Hampshire for 20 years, and I have always lived in New England before that and some states.”

Q: Do you work anywhere or are you retired?
A: “I’m retired. I had 27 years in the military.”

Q: What branch?
A: “The regular Army and the National Guard.”

Q: How did you hear about Columbus?
A: “Well, they were doing away with a bunch of military jobs, getting rid of the regular army, and when they do that, it means full-time National Guard are gonna lose jobs, too. So, in the North, we had a lot of jobs going away, so Mississippi was one of the places I could go.” 

Q: What is your favorite part about The W?
A: “Well, I’ve taken all the Liberal Arts courses in Painter Hall, but I’m running out of them, so I’m looking down in the education and psychology area.”

Q: Do you have any degrees right now? 
A: “I have one Associates and three Bachelors.”

Q: What are your plans after you finish college? 
A: “Well, I’m trying to get into graduate school, but it’s very hard to get in. It’s very competitive.”