Mae Beale’s 82nd birthday on May 17 came with extra icing on the cake as she also graduated from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) with a bachelor’s degree in business management the next day.
According to WJLA, Beale worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for many years. But in her late 70s, she decided to go back to school and study the aforementioned course. The octogenarian’s decision to pursue that particular course was spurred by her business and event planning endeavors. She said she ventured into that career path during her time at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
“My supervisors thought I had something special,” she recalled. “When I was working at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I organized some large events and everybody was impressed with it, so I started coordinating their IT information conferences.”
Beale set up her event planning business in 1994. She subsequently enrolled at the Howard Community College where she pursued an associate degree in Business Management. But she wasn’t done after graduating as she also set her eyes on another academic prize – which was pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UMGC. Her strategy at UMGC was to take one class at a time.
“I wanted to make certain I had the time to devote to whichever class I was taking,” Beale said in reference to her time at UMGC. “I was like the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race.”
Beale’s strategy also paid off as she made the Dean’s list on multiple occasions, WJLA reported. She also graduated with honors. Beale is also passionate about the betterment of her community, and she has devoted her time to that through activism, civic engagement, and volunteering, UMGC said in a press release.
And now with a rightfully deserved degree, Beale said “the sky’s the limit” after reaching another milestone in her life. “There’s no telling,” she told WRC. “Like I say, I’m excited and ready to go.
“You don’t ever, ever let people deter you, because people always want to tell you what to do, how to do, when to do,” Beale added. “But you have to do you.”