Soon-to-be SSB graduate Bryan McIntyre
has overcome obstacles to earn his degree
Bryan McIntyre’s route to Gallagher-Iba Arena for Oklahoma State University commencement exercises Saturday has been a little more difficult than that encountered by many of the other nearly 750 Spears School of Business graduates this year.
He’s overcome a series of setbacks since first enrolling at OSU in 2002, but will proudly walk across the stage to accept his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in the Economics Pre-Law program.
The 28-year-old McIntyre is the first to admit it hasn’t been easy. He finished his first year at OSU with a rather underwhelming 0.07 grade-point average, and was suspended (Editor’s note: he now stresses to first-time freshmen the importance of attending class). He tried working in the fast-food restaurant business for several years before deciding to give college another try.
But just two days after returning to Stillwater, intent on re-enrolling at OSU, he and two people he was staying with at the time were arrested. McIntyre was in the wrong place at the wrong time as one of the individuals was knowingly concealing stolen property and drug paraphernalia was found in the home. “Even though I’d only been living there for a day and a half, I was still charged. It was a learning experience. I’m certainly not proud of it, but I certainly learned to be a lot more careful about who I moved in with,” said the 2002 Stillwater High School graduate.
The subsequent charges were expunged from his record, but instead of enrolling for classes McIntyre spent the next year cleaning them while working as a custodian at OSU to pay the court costs and attorney’s fees following his arrest.
McIntyre enrolled in the Northern Oklahoma College-OSU Gateway Program in 2008, and the next year was re-admitted to OSU. He was eligible to take advantage of OSU’s Academic Renewal program in which students who have had academic trouble in the past are able to recover without penalty and are granted a fresh start.
He took advantage of the opportunity, earning a 4.0 grade-point average his first two years back in college and will finish with a 3.925 overall GPA.
McIntyre aspires to be a federal prosecutor or federal court judge and has already been accepted to the University of Illinois College of Law, one of the nation’s top ranked law schools. His score of 171 out of 180 in the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) ranks among the 98th percentile of all those who took the exam.
“Bryan was one of those students that could finish a 50-question exam in well under 15 minutes and still set the curve,” said Laurie Lucas, assistant professor of Legal Studies in OSU’s Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business. “And while that’s always a bit of a shock for most faculty, I quickly realized that Bryan has a different kind of mind than most. He’s extremely bright and he has an analytical perspective that sets him apart from his peers.
“I’ve had several excellent students in my legal environment class, but Bryan was one of the best. I will not be surprised if he graduates at the top of his law school class.”
Ironically, it was while working as the manager of a fast-food restaurant in Stillwater that he realized his calling my not be serving roast beef sandwiches for the rest of his life. While participating in a training seminar addressing labor laws and harassment laws, McIntyre caught the attention of the company’s corporate trainer.
“I spent so much of our class time discussing nuances of the relevant laws and various hypothetical situations with the instructor that he asked to meet with me privately,” he said. “After I convinced him that I had never had any such instruction before, he told me that I had a talent for the fundamentals of laws, and encouraged me to pursue my interests. That’s where I discovered a passion for interpreting the law.
“I love to argue. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. I like to start debates for fun, although sometimes they’re only fun for me. But mostly I want to be a judge. That’s the end goal, and I want to practice at the federal level. Knowing that I would somewhat enjoy litigation, and knowing that I’m somewhat attached to my soul, I would like to be able to choose my cases a little bit more than a defense attorney would.”
McIntyre’s short-term goal is to finish law school and begin practicing law. His long-term goal is to one day serve as one of the nine justices on the United States Supreme Court.
Lucas has no doubt that her former student will be a success now that he’s found his calling.
“Even though Bryan clearly has the ability and talent to make a lot of money practicing law, he’s indicated to me that he’s more interested in public service. I always find that refreshing to hear from young people as talented as he is, and I have little doubt that he’ll succeed at whatever he sets out to do,” she said.