Commencement 2011: Graduate Profiles

May 16, 2011

In preparation for Commencement on May 22, we’ve profiled a few graduates to show an array of experiences at Mary Baldwin University — multiple avenues to a degree, diverse interests, and varying plans for the future. For more information about the graduates, visit Mary Baldwin News . The Office of Communication, Marketing, and Public Affairs can also help connect reporters with the students in the week leading up to Commencement.

Father/Daughter Duo Share Graduation Date
As they walk across Page Terrace on Sunday, Brian and Jackie Simmons will represent one of the rare father/daughter duos to graduate from Mary Baldwin on the same day. Jackie will earn her bachelor’s degree in studio art and teacher licensure through the Residential College for Women and Brian will receive his religion degree from the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs (Baldwin Online and Adult Programs). Although her dad’s decision to attend Mary Baldwin initially took Jackie by surprise, she admits that as time progressed she realized how important it was for her dad to earn his degree.

Learning is a Lifelong Journey
She’s a mother of three, a grandmother of three, and a great-grandmother of six. And on Sunday, Alice Colvin will shake hands with President Pamela Fox at the seasoned age of 80 to receive her bachelor’s degree in history. Colvin started her uncommon academic journey in 1998 at Piedmont Virginia Community College where she received her associate’s degree in history and she enrolled in the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs at Mary Baldwin in 2002. This year’s oldest graduate credits her desire to keep active as her inspiration to return to school so late in life.

A Mind (and Job) is a Terrible Thing to Waste
For 21-year-old Quinesha Cruz, graduating at a time when high unemployment figures tick dangerously close to double digits was a major factor in planning for her senior year at Mary Baldwin. The Richmond native had just received a job offer from the Department of Defense and she knew she couldn’t turn it down, even if it meant working full time and tackling a long commute while continuing to pursue her history degree.

Degree Delayed but not Denied
Decades ago, marriage stalled Jan Saxman’s college career. She promised her parents that she would eventually earn her bachelor’s degree and on Sunday, she will do just that. The decision to major in political science came naturally to Saxman, 70, who hails from a family that has long held an interest in politics and current events. Her son, Chris Saxman, represented Staunton in the General Assembly. She said her studies allowed her “to argue with Christopher with more fact, instead of passion.”