‘I promised myself that I would finish’: UofL student graduates after 50-year journey

‘I promised myself that I would finish’: UofL student graduates after 50-year journey
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 7:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -Thousands of University of Louisville students walked across the stage for their commencement ceremonies Saturday.

One student has been waiting 50 years for this moment and was finally able to reach this coveted milestone.

Graduating from college is hard enough, but when life throws obstacles at you, people like Nancy Thompson said it’s best just to move at the speed of life.

Thompson’s journey to graduation started in 1973, and just like most college students, she needed a little guidance to find her passion.

“I had a professor from when I took a philosophy class,” Thompson said. “The professor gave me really high marks and kind words and said, ‘oh you should really think about going into philosophy,’ and I said okay.”

But then Thompson said life got in the way.

She got married, then started her career as a mortgage broker, and then just got busy.

Later in life, she dealt with her father getting sick and then lost her home to a flood.

Taking classes was the last thing on her mind, but this was a goal she was determined to complete.

“I promised myself that I would finish,” Thompson said. “You know, at some point in my life and now with the mortgage market now at a slow-down because of higher interest rates. It gave me the perfect opportunity to go and finish it up.”

Before the fall semester, she contacted her guidance counselor and found out she only needed 12 credits to graduate.

With two classes in the fall and two in the spring, she was able to cross the finish line.

A milestone she still can’t wrap her head around.

“You know, it’s really overwhelming,” Thompson said. “You know, since the story broke, I’ve had people call and text and comment and all kinds of things. I had a good friend call me yesterday and say, ‘Nancy I’m only about 20 hours away myself, and you’ve given me inspiration to go and finish it up and that’s, that’s nice.’”

Now, she’s imploring others in a similar situation to stay the course and write their own path.

“Look for the opening,” Thompson said. “Look for the path. You know the path will be before you, and maybe you know it’s covered up or foggy, but just look for it and the path will be made clear.”

When asked what she’s going to do with her new degree, Thompson told WAVE News she said she guesses she’s going to create a new path and become a philosophical mortgage broker.