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February 28, 2011

Scholarship Winner makes her own Road to Success

South University Newsroom

Linda Hunter
Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies
Class of December 2010
Savannah, Georgia Campus
Employment:  Volunteer at the Royce Learning Center and has just completed a 120-hour externship at The Murray Firm – Law Firm in Richmond Hill, Georgia
Pursuing: MBA at South University
Article Date: January 2011

Scholarship Winner makes her own Road to Success

As some people approach age 60, they welcome new ways to spend their leisure time: relaxing, traveling, or simply enjoying retirement years.  Not so for South University graduate, Linda Hunter.  One winter morning in 2008, Linda earnestly called the admissions office at South University, loaded with questions about how to start her college career.  

That morning, Deborah Brinkman, Associate Director of Admissions at South University answered Linda’s call.  “Ms. Brinkman was so encouraging, honest and clear about what I needed to do.  When I hung up the phone, I was positive which way I wanted to go and how I was going to get there.”

Not only did Linda enroll, she applied and won a scholarship from The Savannah’s Downtown Rotary Club, which helped pay for her education.  The Downtown Rotary Club honors volunteers who demonstrate exceptional commitment to community service.  Besides taking care of her family and going to school, Linda also teaches Sunday school, volunteers for The Humane Society and also, for almost ten years, has spent every Sunday afternoon volunteering at Savannah’s Heritage Park nursing home.

“I’ve always done something,” Linda says about her volunteerism.  “The people I spend time with when I volunteer inspire me.”

Linda married at 19, and she’s the first to admit the road was not always smooth. Life challenges took over and her dream to go to college was postponed.  

“Still, I had always thought that when my kids went to school, I would start my college education,” Linda remembers.  “I made half-hearted inquiries about going to college over the years, but I’d never made the commitment until I called South University.  I knew from my conversation with Ms. Brinkman that morning, this school was different.”  

At 58, Linda began her college career and completed a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. She graduated with honors in only ten quarters.

“I know my degree means something and that makes the work I’ve invested in the process priceless,” Linda beams.  “I can go just about anywhere and say I have a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from a university whose program is approved by the ABA, and professionals know what that means.  I know my hard work and the degree will be noticed.”

Linda considers herself an “ambassador” for all non-traditional students who still yearn to fulfill great dreams, especially when it comes to older students.

“I took a very scenic route to get to where I am now, but I want to encourage others – despite their age or circumstances – to believe in themselves because the truth is we can indeed achieve whatever we can dream.  The first matter is getting started and the second is being committed to see the necessary work through to its fruition,” Linda encourages.
 
“No matter challenge I face, one little mantra always encourages me,” Linda laughs.  “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!”  

This driving philosophy no doubt still motivates Linda, who is headed to study for an M.B.A. now that she’s earned a bachelor’s degree.  She smiles, “I am really looking forward to getting started!”