Pamela Judd standing in her SNHU cap and gownAs Pamela Judd ’23 became the first college graduate in her family, she was already a grandmother to 15 grandchildren.

“I am a first generation, hoping that it shows my grandchildren that it’s not too late,” she said. “I’m hoping that I’m paving the way for them.”

Judd graduated from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) with an associate degree in business administration, working throughout her studies.

“I’ve struggled through my lifetime,” she said. “This has been so rewarding, personally.”

She added that she’s felt a change in herself since starting her program. “I’ve grown a lot, and I have a lot more confidence,” Judd said.

Leading a team at work, she said she’s become an advocate for higher education in the workplace. She even inspired a coworker to attend SNHU. “She starts this next term,” Judd said.

At 61 years old, Judd already has more than three decades of experience at her current workplace and isn’t looking to advance any further. “I’m looking forward to retirement,” she said. “But I still want to go for the bachelor’s, just because I can.”

Judd said she has just 10 courses left to finish her bachelor’s degree, and she plans to do it at SNHU.

And to anyone else who’s thinking about starting classes? “You can do it,” she said. “There’s all the support in the world.”

She mentioned that staff, including SNHU’s team of academic advisors, helped her out whenever she felt stuck. Although she didn’t consider herself to be technically literate at the start of her studies, Judd grew her skills and confidence with a little bit of help.

“Shout out to my advisor, Devin Dionne. He’s been such an overwhelming support for me,” she said. “And I finished with highest honors.”

Judd noted her degree is a personal achievement — but she also did it for her family. “It’s an honor. It’s like I’m leaving the grandkids with something,” she said. “I’m hoping I can be somewhat of an inspiration.”

Mars Girolimon ’21 ’23G is a staff writer at Southern New Hampshire University where they earned their bachelor’s and master’s, both in English and creative writing. In addition to their work in higher education, Girolimon’s short fiction is published in the North American Review, So It Goes by The Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library, X-R-A-Y and more. They’re currently writing their debut novel, which was Longlisted for The First Pages Prize. Connect with them on LinkedIn and X, formerly known as Twitter.


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