Raymond Mitchell ’24: Choosing History
Choices can change the course of history. For Raymond Mitchell '24, history changed the course of his career.
By Heather Rodriguez ’04
Choices can change the course of history. What if George Washington had decided to be president for life?
Smaller choices can upend our daily lives as well. For example, what if Raymond Mitchell ’24 of Katy, Texas, hadn’t decided to end a successful career as an oil and gas attorney to pursue his dream of studying history at Texas A&M University? We’ll never know.
“My passion for history began as a child, somewhere around aged eight or nine,” Mitchell said. “I’ve joked over the years that I had three true loves as a kid: baseball, history, and Star Wars — and not necessarily in that order. It was always my favorite subject in school and has remained a passion of mine all of my life.”
Mitchell’s passion for history led him to minor in it at the University of Missouri (1992); however, it wasn’t until 2020 that he earned his master’s degree in history from Sam Houston State University. The years in between saw him occupied in the field of law.
“I had wanted to be a lawyer for most of my young life, so I never really questioned the decision to go to law school after undergraduate,” he said. “After 20-plus years, however, I was becoming very jaded with the profession and the oil and gas industry, and knew I needed to get back to something that I would truly enjoy, hence my return to history and academia.”
A bonus of Mitchell returning to campus? Attending Texas A&M at the same time as his daughter Hannah, an environmental studies major who graduates in 2023.
“It’s definitely been a unique experience,” he said. “It’s allowed us to have a lot of one-on-one time together to talk about school, life, etc.”
While pursuing his graduate degree, Mitchell is working as a graduate teaching assistant, which he also loves.
“My favorite part of teaching is sharing my knowledge and love of history with others,” he said. “History is the story of us, and can be made relatable, approachable, and usable to everyone. You just have to find a way to reach your audience.”
It’s safe to say that, for Mitchell, history was the best choice for his future.
“I stress to my students that nothing in history happens in a bubble; everything that happens has been affected by what occurred before it, and will affect everything that happens after it,” he said.