For Amre Husseini ′95, making his way to Ashland didn’t come via the typical route. But the route he took has influenced his life beyond measure. Born in Kuwait, Amre attended boarding schools in the United Kingdom then started high school at the American School in Amman, Jordan, before receiving his High School Diploma from the International School of Choueifat in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was there that he met a guidance counselor who was from Oregon, with recommendations for colleges in the state.
After spending most of his life in large metropolitan areas, Amre knew he wanted to attend a smaller school to help ease his angst of transitioning to being a student in the US. He applied at several Oregon schools and what was then Southern Oregon State College (SOSC) was the first to respond to him. With a brother living in California at the time, he flew into San Francisco and drove with him to Ashland.
“I really didn’t know what to expect when we came off the freeway into Ashland. I was afraid that the school would be too small but I was mistaken,” said Amre. After the end of orientation week, Amre knew it was the place for him. “I just fell in love with the school, the campus and Ashland. I was also able to receive an international student scholarship to pay for my tuition by speaking to different groups in the community about cultures, through the International Club,” he added.
Amre lived in the Greensprings residence hall complex his first year on campus. His second year he was able to move off campus and settled in an apartment on Garfield Street, befriending several wrestling and football student-athletes who became his room-mates. “It was neat for me and very comfortable to have a mix of a small Arab community and those student-athletes in the complex. It made life more enjoyable,” he said.
Academically, Amre blossomed in the small classes and majored in business with an emphasis in marketing. Business professor Tom Hitzelberger was one of his favorite instructors. “Professor Hitzelberger was an amazing teacher and advisor. He pushed me to be at my very best as a student. I was in his office almost every day, even on days I did not have his classes. That doesn’t happen at large research institutions,” he said. Amre also cites Business Professor Jerry Cooper and International Programs Professor Keith Chambers for their positive nature and helpful support.
After earning his bachelor of arts in business administration-marketing with a minor in economics in 1995, it was Tom Hitzelberger who helped get Amre his first job right out of college with the Ashland Daily Tidings, selling advertisements. Later, he got a job with the Disney Corporation, selling advertisements in southern California. While there, he earned his MBA at Chapman University.
In 1998, his father fell ill so he moved back to Jordan. There, he married and started his own advertising and marketing company which grew to become a communications group of 120 employees by the time he exited.
In 2012, he moved his family to the United Kingdom. There, he established a new marketing consulting agency called Another In Kingdom, which now has 24 employees. “We have clients in the UK, USA, and Saudi Arabia and as part of our mission states, we like to challenge the conventional as we delight, surprise and disrupt!,” he said.
“My SOU experiences are ones that I will never forget. In Ashland, I gained my independence, I made life-long friends and was inspired by passionate professors. I was part of the International Student Association and the Student Senate. I was at every basketball and football game and am a Raider through and through. People will be surprised that it was the small Muslim community at SOU that helped me better understand my faith, too. While many would see Ashland as a pitstop on the I-5 between California and Oregon, I will always see it as a second home and hope to one day come back and walk around the beautiful campus. Maybe, I’ll even stop in at OMAR’s if it is still there!”
Learn more: Another In Kingdom