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Story Last Updated: September 2015
Current Position Updated: March 2019
Joanne Henkels may have not been the average college student, but that didn't stop her from pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business administration from GMercyU.
While watching TV one night, a commercial came on the screen featuring the oldest college graduate, an 80-year-old woman who just completed her master's degree in psychology. That's when it hit her.
"I turned to my husband and said, 'Wow, I’ll be 50 in a few years. I better finish my degree before I’m the next oldest graduate,'" Henkels said.
In 2007, the timing was finally in Henkels' favor as her son had begun college and her daughter was a sophomore in high school. Due to the close proximity to her home and the excellent reputation it had in the community, Henkels scheduled a visit with the admissions counselor at the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS)* at GMercyU.
The small college atmosphere is what originally attracted Henkels to Gwynedd Mercy University and ultimately made her time at GMercyU fulfilling on not just a professional level, but in her personal life too.
Henkels served as the President of the Gwynedd Mercy University Alumni Board where she is helped further the mission of the University, especially when it came to supporting GPS students. Her hope is to encourage other adults to continue their education and realize that it's never too late to learn something new and step outside your comfort zone.
*GMercyU's School of Graduate and Professional Studies programs are now called Non-Term Online/Accelerated programs.