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Lifelong Learner Crosses the Finish Line With a College Degree

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Suzanne Blender has been taking college classes, off and on, since 2007. But inspired by her three daughters who all earned college degrees, and a friend who is a Titan alumna, she decided this was the year she was finally going to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“I’ve always been interested in art,” she said. “In fact, I have associate’s degrees in art, arts and human expression, and psychology, as well as a certificate in computer graphics from Fullerton College.”

Blender was always comfortable on a college campus, completing assignments, taking tests and attending classes with students who were often decades younger than she. 

When it came time to decide on a major, Blender chose psychology. And when she arrived at Cal State Fullerton, she started taking four to five classes a semester instead of the two classes per semester she previously took.

“My goal was to earn straight A’s so I put a lot of pressure on myself,” she said. “Fortunately, my good friend Verne Wagner ’77 (B.A. business administration-accounting), who happens to be a Titan alumna, was there to cheer me on and provide support.”

When the campus sent students home to complete their studies virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she discovered she excelled at online learning.

Now after many years of study and classes, Blender’s dream of a college degree is coming true. After that?

“I have a couple of art projects that have been on hold for the past year and I plan to get back to health coaching. I was certified as a health coach in 2016 but now with my education, I have a much more focused direction and goal going forward.”

Valerie Orleans