For Release: June 08, 2010
When Pat Sharp, a 69-year-old child care business operator, decided to finish her bachelor's degree two years ago, the final push came from her daughter, Kimberle Woodall-McGaw, 50, who decided they should complete their degrees together.
And that's what they're doing this spring. Both will graduate from Marylhurst University in June – Sharp with a bachelor's degree in human studies, and Woodall-McGaw with degrees in human studies and psychology. After two years of taking nearly all of their classes together, both will check an important "to do" item off their lists.
"This was unfinished business for me, and even though it's been a challenge it's been fun," said Sharp. "I felt like I was the only person in the world without a degree when I came here, and then I discovered other women just like me, and built wonderful relationships with peers and the dedicated teachers here. I even had an 87-year-old classmate in math!
"The experience was everything I hoped it would be. I hope I can inspire others with unfinished business to make the journey at Marylhurst."
Sharp will be one of three student speakers at Marylhurst's June 19 commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Portland Ballroom of the Oregon Convention Center. The university's 116th annual commencement showcases yet another record graduating class, featuring 276 bachelor's degree candidates and 382 master's degree candidates. The university has the largest master's of business administration program in the state, and will grant more than 275 MBA degrees this year.
University President Judith Johansen said it is students like Pat and Kimberle who create a special learning environment at Marylhurst.
"Our university excels in helping students of all ages and from all backgrounds create a pathway to professional success and personal fulfillment," Johansen said. "At Marylhurst, the journey is every bit as important as the destination, and I am immensely proud of the individual journey each of our graduates has made to reach his or her goals."
University Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university located 10 miles south of Portland on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence. Marylhurst's small, seminar-style classes – offered weekdays, evening, weekends and online – provide convenience for students with busy lives seeking professional certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees.