Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Document Type


First Advisor

Tonya Stremlau

Second Advisor

Christopher Heuer

Third Advisor

Michael Ndurumo


Using the power of the written word in a kind, loving, and inspirational manner, the author shares his childhood journey in personal essays to his children, from which they can draw inspiration, find instruction, get answers to some of their questions about life, and map their own destinies with a better understanding of their father’s struggles and victories. As a story from a specific period of the author’s life, Gifts of Character is a memoir, a story from a life, unlike an autobiography, which is the story of a life. The author recalls events and conversations, not verbatim, but from emotion-infused memories. Some of this writer’s creative influences include H. Rider Haggard, whose creativity and imagination keeps the reader turning the pages until the last word; Alex Haley’s Roots, a historical novel recounting the influence of a slave ancestor on seven generations; and William Shakespeare, whom the author started reading before age eight. So genuine was the influence of Shakespearean language that the author and one of his brothers would attempt to craft whole conversations in it when out in the fields tending livestock.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons



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