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A Dream Deferred No Longer

It took three decades, but this student is ready to graduate

Pressing a mouse button rarely means as much as it did for Pat Glennon. With a recent momentous click, Glennon submitted the final assignment of his Bridgewater State University bachelor’s degree – 30 years after he first took a college class.

“It was so exciting,” he said of the culmination of so much hard work. “Bridgewater gave me the ability to right what I felt was always a wrong.”

Glennon attended Saint Anselm College after high school, but says he wasn’t ready for the work and responsibility. So, he left and took courses at various institutions over the ensuing years. Education took a back seat after getting married, having four children, and starting a career working for financial companies.

Then, eight years ago, with his kids older and needing less supervision, his wife encouraged him to return to the classroom.

“It was something I wanted to make sure I did for myself,” he said. 

Glennon, who lives in Rockland, explored BSU’s College of Continuing Studies and found a fit in the communication studies program, where he concentrated in strategic communication. As a business solutions analyst for SS&C Technologies, he dabbles in maintaining the company’s intranet. He also assists with communications for youth sports and religious organizations.

In class, he appreciated real-world, hands-on activities, including in Sherri Miles’ nonprofit communications course working with Special Olympics Massachusetts. Professors Jason Edwards and Bjorn Ingvoldstad helped Glennon stay on track, even when he faced obstacles such as the death of his parents. 

Glennon stands out for his commitment to education, Dr. Edwards said.

“It’s that idea of perseverance because he was going part-time and had a work schedule and kids,” he said. “This was really a personal goal.”

Nontraditional students, Edwards said, demonstrate that “learning never stops.”

Glennon encourages older prospective students to pursue a degree at Bridgewater: Courses are interesting, interactions with younger classmates provide new perspectives, and faculty help students succeed, he said.

“I could not recommend going back and getting your degree more,” he said. “The classes are so much fun. Outside of starting a family, probably my best decision was to go back and get it done.”

It’s also one that no doubt would have made his parents, who were both teachers, proud.

“I am very happy I was able to get back and start making legitimate serious progress while they were still around,” he said. “When I submitted my final paper, I looked up to the sky knowing I had gotten done what they wanted me to do.”

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