Jerry Lee Davisdavis
Professional Studies, July 2013

I started at Arkansas Tech in the fall of 1961 with the goal of completing college and perhaps go on to medical school. I was working part time and attending classes, and after three years I was working a lot more than going to classes. In 1965, I went to work for the Russellville Police Department until 1968, when I was hired by the Arkansas State Police and college was put on the back burner.

During the 30 years I was with the State Police, I had the opportunity to take some courses from UCA, Arkansas State University, and Ouachita Baptist University.

After my retirement from the State Police in 1997, I was Chief Deputy for the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office and then retired again.  From 2002 until 2012, I did a lot of personal projects and a lot of volunteer work for some very worthy organizations. In the Spring 2012 edition of Tech Action, the Alumni Magazine, there was an article about an 89 year old who had returned to Tech and received his degree after 71 years (Mr. Charlie Ball).   I had been thinking about trying to finish my degree, and that inspired me to find out more about the Tech Accelerated Degree Program. I was connected with Dr. Mary Ann Rollans, who explained how many and which courses were required to complete my degree. After a lot of hard work and a lot of encouragement, assistance, and inspiration from a lot of instructors, advisors, friends and family, I finally achieved the goal of receiving my Bachelor's Degree from Arkansas Tech University in the summer of 2013.

Now, after 52 years, I have achieved my goal of finishing college and fulfilling my promise to my mother, before she passed away, that I would finish my degree. The feeling and emotion of walking across the stage and receiving my degree is beyond words. I still have to pinch myself to be sure it is true!

Comments: I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to all the instructors and administration for all the guidance, support, and encouragement. They show great concern for the student's needs. This concern and caring made me feel much more at ease and comfortable on this daunting journey.

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