Graduation has been a long time coming for UTB-TSC student Nan Spear.
Spear is one of the students who will receive degrees during the 18th winter commencement Saturday at the Cardenas South Hall Lawn at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
She is set to walk the stage with more than 1,100 of her peers who will receive certificates and associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees, according to a UTB press release. The commencement speaker will be Hector Ruiz, founder and chairman of Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Inc.
After more than five years of studies, Spear will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.
“I was looking at it two classes, one semester at a time,” Spear said. “At first I thought it was going to take a couple of years, not five years.”
Spear returned to school after a 25-year hiatus, but had been contemplating it for some time, she said.
“Every time, I would look at the mountain ahead of me and the cost. I would get discouraged and wouldn’t do it,” the 52-year-old student said.
She returned to school in 2007 and enrolled at Texas State Technical College Harlingen. She transferred to UTB-TSC in 2009.
It wasn’t until she returned home in Harlingen from her final exam this semester that she realized how much the milestone meant to her.
“I called my husband and was all excited about school,” Spear said. “Then I got to Harlingen and I couldn’t stop crying and he’s getting all freaked out and I’m like, ‘No this is a good thing.’”
Spear will have her husband and other family members watching during Saturday’s ceremony.
“I had no idea how much it meant to me,” Spear said. “So now that it’s actually here, I’m just really delighted and overwhelmed that I did it and went back to school and I’m getting my degree.”