At Linfield College’s Commencement on June 1, graduating senior Clara Martinez introduced the Class of 2014 with aplomb: “As Linfield graduates, we know how to pursue the unknown with confidence, and to create a life that is worth living.”
Launching confidently into the unknown with tools to build a fulfilling life are 191 graduates from the Adult Degree Program, who completed their accredited degrees entirely online and joined 550 other Linfield graduates in being recognized for their achievements.
“What I learned at Linfield College, I have applied again and again throughout my life,” shared the Commencement Speaker, COO/CFO of the University of Southern California Athletics Department, Stephen Lopes. Mr. Lopes grew up in a small town in Nevada and was the first in his family to attend college. He secured a bright future for his educational journey by earning a bachelor’s degree from Linfield, followed by two master’s degrees from USC and Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Following the impressive example set by Mr. Lopes, the graduates received their diplomas and many graduating ADP students received departmental honors and awards.
Twenty-four graduates were selected for Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national academic honor society for adult learners and those in adult degree programs. (See below for a complete list of graduates inducted into the honor society.) Honor society graduates who received BA or BS degrees in Accounting shared their insights about what their education means to them, and how the ADP made it possible for them to achieve their degree online:
Graduate Eric Wolke planned his work and family commitments around his online courses. He said, “Professionally, my degree has opened new doors of opportunity. With an Accounting degree, I can look at careers that combine Accounting and Human Resources experience.” He plans on taking the CPA examinations next year to further propel his career. Wolke adds, “Personally, my education has contributed to my lifelong learning.”
Graduate Benjamin Cregger achieved his bachelor’s from Linfield’s online degree in accounting after struggles that included a period of homelessness and the search for a meaningful college experience. Cregger says, “I feel like everyone deserves to have the tools to pull themselves up when things get strange and unexpected.” He says “finishing my Bachelor’s at Linfield helped me to rebuild my life in the most meaningful way I could. I hope that someday everyone will have affordable access to meaningful digital educational resources.”
Graduate Amanda Smith from Sitka, Alaska, says, “Linfield’s online program has been perfect for me. Online classes gave me the flexibility to do my work at my convenience.”
Several 2014 graduates from the Adult Degree Program were honored during their progression toward their degree completion by being awarded Linfield scholarships made possible by alumni and friends of the Adult Degree Program.
Three scholarship-winning graduates are Adult Degree Program Alumni Scholars. They are Janie Marsh from McMinnville, Oregon, who earned the Bachelor of Science degree in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Joan Davis, Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bend, Oregon and Staci Woods, Bachelor of Science degree in the Social and Behavioral Sciences from Chisholm, Minnesota.
Marsh thanked the alumni and friends of ADP who contributed to the scholarship: “Being awarded a scholarship is such a validating experience for pushing forward and not giving up when this journey got tough.”
Donna Marie Geffken from Corralitos, California, was awarded the Robert J. and Vivian A. Bull Endowed Scholarship for completion of her Bachelor of Science degree in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The Arthur Lind Memorial Scholarship Scholars in the Class of 2014 are Luis Figueroa Mota, who earned his BS degree in Management online, from McMinnville, Oregon, and Carmen Roman, Bachelor of Science degree in the Social and Behavioral Sciences from Vancouver, Washington.
Roman complimented the faculty and the online learning format in the Adult Degree Program: “Attending Linfield has been great. As a working mother, I am grateful that Linfield is able to offer me the education I desire, within the flexible format I need. I have very much enjoyed the courses and am glad for having instructors who are well versed in their fields and committed to staying connected within the online format.” With features like college credit for life experiences and coursework that can be completed anytime during the day, Linfield’s ADP is designed for adult students like Roman who have outside responsibilities.
The very proud ADP professors and staff wish all the graduates of 2014 the best as you launch from Linfield into the rest of your journeys. May your lives continue to be full of learning, growing, and meaningful achievements. As graduate Benjamin Cregger put it: “The more I learn the more I realize how little I really know- thus providing more opportunity to discover and learn.” We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations!
Linfield ADP 2014 Graduates Selected for Alpha Sigma Lambda
Honor Society for Adult Learners in Continuing Higher Education
Dana M. Bakke-Boswell
Kamala Lynn Burgess
Benjamin Lee Cregger
Debra D. Doerfler
Natalia Y. Goheen
Shanna LeAnne Hancock
Hollie Nicole Lichty
Cedar Diana Whims Ousele
Niquelle Donn Reyes-Schenbeck
Elana U. Scharff
Robin Audrey Estelle Thomas
Kelly D. Vinson
Julie R. White
Eric Paul Wolke
Luke E. Zimmerman