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Alum Vickie Henson: Grateful for Second Chance to Earn Degree

Vickie Henson HeadshotThis year marks the centennial year for adult education at Loyola and we are celebrating the anniversary by gathering stories of our alumni who want to share their Loyola experience, and how it has transformed their lives. SCPS changed its name a number of times but it has consistently served adult students.

The following bio came from Vickie Henson, who graduated with a BA in Communication from Mundelein College in 1987.

I am a product of Loyola’s University College system and I do not know where I would be today if it were not for the second chance afforded me in my formidable years as a young adult.

I am a first generation college graduate who comes from a family of rugged Mississippi share croppers and West Indian immigrants who settled into domestic work on the north shore of Chicago. After high school, in my early college years, I struggled to keep up with my studies due to family financial issues at home and social distractions at school.

I had very little academic/career direction or guidance; however, I did have ambition to complete my degree. I attended evening classes at the Water Tower Campus because of its convenience to my full-time job. To this day, I have fond memories of studying at the Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds on Chicago Avenue and State Street between work and class. I enjoyed the spirited discussions in my Theology and Philosophy courses with the professors and my young adult peers.

I respected and admired the adjunct professional women who taught the evening classes; they gave me a vision and a role model to look up to. I felt relieved of the pressure of achieving a perfect GPA, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn and absorb the entire experience. I graduated with a BA degree in Communication from Mundelein College in 1987.

On a recent trip to Chicago I drove past the Lake Shore campus with my daughter to show off my alma mater. She was impressed with the urban campus landscape tucked away in the alcove of the great Lake Michigan. It made me proud to show off my roots that played a pivotal role in nurturing me through adulthood to that coveted college degree. My journey to find myself, work full-time and attend evening college at Loyola is part of the very experience that allowed me to prepare her for academic success at the University of Southern California where she is a junior at the Marshall School of Business.

If you would like to share your story as an alum, please email it to scps@luc.edu. We would love to hear from you. Also, the Centennial Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 28. All University College, Mundelein College, SCPS alumni  and current students are invited to attend this exciting event where you can meet other alum to share stories of then and now. Learn more about the  Centennial Celebration schedule and registration here.