Never too old: UNM-LA grads celebrate hard-earned degrees

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By Carol A. Clark

Pride and inspiration, plenty of humor and surely a little relief filled the UNM-Los Alamos Courtyard Friday for the 27th annual graduation convocation.

Graduate Paul Howard, 43, certainly won the medal for perseverance – staying the course for 25 years to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Vowing not to get emotional, Howard kept his word until he thanked his wife.

“There are those in your life who’ve sacrificed to help you get here … No one does this alone,” he said and listed many ways in which his wife and five children supported his educational efforts through the years.

Howard, the student speaker representing those receiving bachelor and graduate degrees, received his Bachelor of University Studies degree Friday. He began his undergraduate studies in the mid-1980s.

“Mr. Howard responded to life’s demands and circumstances – work and family – and discontinued his studies until he contacted our Bachelor and Graduate Programs staff member Cindy Leyba, and with her support and encouragement, helped him plan and make the commitment to complete,” said UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page.

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