Sophomore class senator charts a noble course

Sophomore Landon Coles.
By News@TheU

Sophomore Landon Coles.

Sophomore class senator charts a noble course

By News@TheU
Grateful for his Ronald A. Hammond Scholarship, Landon Coles is committed to “helping those who are underrepresented and historically marginalized.”

Landon Coles has a long list of notable accolades at the University of Miami, but he is not one to brag about them. In fact, the sophomore class senator for Student Government is quite humbled by his accomplishments, particularly his achievement as a Ronald A. Hammond Scholar.

“Every day I am so grateful,” said Coles, who is majoring in political science in the College of Arts and Sciences and works as an assistant in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. “I have been granted self-agency to chart my own path here at the University and beyond.” 

And chart it he has—thanks to the Hammond scholarship—named for the University’s first director of minority affairs—which provides full tuition to diverse, academically excellent, high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. 

From the moment Coles stepped on campus, he dedicated himself to impacting the University community. During his first semester, he ran for the Student Government Senate, becoming one of two senators for his freshman class, and earning a Senator of the Year award in the spring. He also served as co-chair of the King & Queen Pageant for the 2019 Homecoming Executive Committee.

Now a senator for his sophomore class, Coles is also a member of the Undergraduate Honor Council and the United Black Students Executive Board. In addition, he is a student ambassador and tour guide for the President's 100. 

But it is at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs where he particularly feels at home. 

“Everyone at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs pushes me to be the best version of me and holds me accountable to give my best effort,” Coles said. “They are like a family to me. I love working here because we celebrate UM’s diversity and understand how it’s a tool, not an impediment, for success.”

The second son of six children, Coles grew up in Tallahassee, where his single mother, Leasha Weaver, showed him how to be a strong role model. 

“Growing up, I watched my mom labor every day. She taught me how to be passionate, kind, strong, and courageous,’’ said Coles, who particularly loves being big brother to his four younger sisters. “Being a big brother has taught me about life. Being a big brother has taught me about responsibility, leadership, and selflessly caring for others.” 

Landon also has an impressive list of mentors at UM, including Ryan C. Holmes, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students; Renee Dickens Callan, executive director of student life; Patricia Whitely, vice president of student affairs; and, of course, the entire Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. 

Which may explain why, as humble as Coles is, he has high aspirations for the future. After graduation, he plans to attend law school and make his way into the public sector, where he vows to “keep helping those who are underrepresented and historically marginalized.” 

“I have a passion for social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion,” Coles said. “I see myself working in the federal government. I see myself as a congressman, a senator, and maybe one day in the White House.”