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* You're never too old to go to school

Mary Tevis Graduation Photo.jpgMary Tevis stood with the others when President Lee Lambert asked graduates at Commencement 2011 to stand if they were on the President’s List. She was the only one standing, however, when President Lambert asked to remain standing if they were 65 or older.

 

The crowd gave Tevis a standing ovation.

 

“I really don’t understand what the big deal is,” said the 73-year-old, the oldest graduate this year.

 

Her family understood.

 

Tevis' husband and their two sons and their families applauded her success along with the hundreds of parents, relatives and friends of other Shoreline Community College graduates. Tevis hadn’t planned on participating in the ceremony, but her older son who lives in California said she made him walk so she had to do the same.

 

Tevis, who earned an Associate in Fine Arts degree, with a focus on photography, hadn’t begun her education with a degree in mind – it just ended up that way.

 

A court reporter for 32 years, Tevis said she woke up one day and realized that she didn’t want to do that kind of work anymore.

“I thought I would just knit and read and garden,” she said, but then when she lost her “point-and-click” camera, her brother told her she had

Mary Tevis earned her degree under the Senior Citizens Tuition Waiver Program which provides seniors (60 and over) the opportunity to pay only $5 for up to two classes and 10 credits per quarter. Seniors can enroll only if space is available and must wait until the second week of the quarter to register to allow time for regular students to enroll. Registrar Chris Melton says that 15 to 20 seniors take advantage of the tuition waiver program every quarter.

to get a more sophisticated camera with more capabilities and that was the beginning of her love for photography.

 

“I loved it! I totally loved it,” she said. “I used to paint and draw so I had a good eye.”

 

The energetic senior started taking classes at Shoreline at her husband’s suggestion. He had been taking ceramics classes at the college for many years. He set up an appointment for her to meet with Chris Simons, photography Professor Emeritus and soon afterward, Tevis was taking photography classes.

 

“I took 101 and 102 and then just started taking everything Chris taught,” Tevis said, not realizing that she was on track for earning an AFA degree. It was her son who noticed and suggested she go after her degree. Tevis thought about it and decided, “Why not? Along the way, Tevis posted a grade point average above 3.9 and made the President’s List.

 

“I’m addicted to learning,” she said, laughing. Tevis said she was surprised at how much she enjoyed classes she wouldn’t have thought of taking if not needed for her degree, in particular the art history courses taught by Keith Takechi.

 

Although Tevis has her degree, she is not finished with her education. She is currently taking a beginning Web design class and plans to take more advanced classes in computer graphic design. “Why not? It’s fun and I’m learning a lot,” she said.

 

Tevis plans to put her degree to work right away, with three Web site jobs in her queue.

 

“I’ll be able to use not only my photography skills, but what I’ve learned in my (Adobe) Dreamweaver classes,” she said.

 

Tevis believes all seniors should consider going to school, saying it’s not only interesting and fun but a great way to stay engaged and youthful.

 

“Why retire and just sit around and moulder,” she said.

 

Beginning Fall Quarter 2010, Shoreline launched a new program for seniors called Plus 50. Sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, community colleges across the country are creating or expanding campus programs to engage 78 million baby-boomers currently reaching retirement age who represent a tremendous resource to the nation in termsof experience, skills, and leadership. http://www.shoreline.edu/Plus50/default.aspx

 

The Associate in Fine Arts degree offers students multiple opportunities and experience in a number of art disciplines with an emphasis on the development of a strong portfolio of artwork. The AFA degree is a model that highlights transfer opportunities as an art major to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, while providing graduates with a sold foundation for artistic growth and for employment opportunities with just the associate degree. Students pursuing Shoreline’s AFA degree have two options of study. They can complete the Foundation Studio Art Option with a concentration in two-dimensional or in three-dimensional art, or, if they have a clear interest in photography, they can complete the Photography Option.

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