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Keelite of the Month May 2017: Jeremy Jeffries
1985 Politics & Geography
What am I doing now?
National and International Sales Manager for a Textile Company in New York City, USA. I commute from outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to New York Penn Station (underneath Madison Square Garden Arena for those who know New York) and I walk two streets over, past Macy’s Herald Square (where the Thanksgiving Day Parade passes) to our offices on 36th and Broadway. I travel for business about 50% of the time, so I am very fortunate to have seen more of America than most Americans.
The picture (left) is the cafe in the film "Bridges of Madison County", and I’m sitting on the same exact stool Clint Eastwood used.
How did you get to where you are now?
After graduating from Keele and Barnes 4th floor corner room with the Rugby Field views, I went to Chicago, where my exchange student girlfriend Beth had a job lined up. I ended up staying and we were married in a river town in Illinois, during the Great Mississippi Floods of 1993 (an omen perhaps?) Unfortunately, we divorced in 2000. Despite the news reports, America IS a good place to live and offers almost unlimited opportunity if you are willing to try. The old adage ‘In The Right Place At The Right Time’ is 100% true here, as all career advancements have been just that.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
As a previous candidate mentioned, and rightly so, now that I am Keelite of the Month, I can cross that one off the list!
I vividly remember going to the cinema with secondary school friends to see a James Bond film in Malvern, and wishing I could go to those places. I still have some locations to cross of my list but over half way through is an achievement and a privilege. Also happy to continue volunteer work: Habitat For Humanity, (but Jimmy Carter never came by any of the job sites I was on) and working on USA holidays in local soup kitchens - many are veterans from recent wars that America seems to forget about. Also, naming a steam engine after my Dad at the Severn Valley Railway. (Photo right)
And your biggest mistake?
Divorce, no spouse and no children to share the experiences with.
What are your ambitions now?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate the way my career has taken shape. I only want to keep good health for me, my family and friends to continue the Good Life for all of us. Hope to see more of Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Nieces and Nephews, all in the UK, and continue bringing them over to show them America.
What kind of a student were you?
Errrr. Let’s skip that one and just say I was very social?
Photo Left: The Right Seat on an Airbus A 330-267
How has Keele influenced your life?
I met students from nearly every continent, from all walks of life and learned so much about other cultures, how other people and their cultures measure success, how much some of them had sacrificed to get to the UK and get accepted into Keele plus, I met a girl I loved, I moved countries because of her and the result has been a wonderful life, better than I ever thought possible. Keele gave me a foundation of grounding and experiences that helped me for the rest of my life. I hope as alumni, we can create more opportunities and funding for more students to experience the magic (not the mushrooms) that Keele provided us.
What is your favourite memory of Keele?
1982-1985. Every day I was there.
What is your impression of Keele now?
Not your parents’ new red brick Uni. In the ‘80s, we were known for International Studies and Politics (and I think the Music Department had one of the earliest and best synthesizers?) Now, I read and here that Keele is also a cutting edge medical and research facility and more. Very proud to be associated with Keele, although a few Americans over the years have asked if Keele was an Oxford or Cambridge college - yes, really!
Anything else you would like to add?
Yes, how is the Rugby Team doing these days? Glad to see Stoke City doing better and please see below picture. It’s true, EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN AMERICA!...
See the photo of the sunflower, right, for proof of Bigger and Better!
Abd please indulge me: My Mum, Ruth, was a school teacher and always pushed me and supported me, so a big thanks to her and Dad for making Keele a reality for me. Thanks Mum and Dad!
Photo left: Jeremy and Mum