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Gwynedd Mercy University graduate Joanne Henkels

Meet Joanne Henkels

Business Administration, 2012

“As we age, we have a different perspective on life. Learning at a later age opened my mind and spirit to new challenges.” 

It's Never too Late

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, 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 now serves as the President of the Gwynedd Mercy University Alumni Board where she is able to help further the mission of the University, especially when it comes 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.