82-Year-Old Former Nurse Graduates A Day After Her Birthday | “Slow And Steady Wins The Race”

82-Year-Old Former Nurse Graduates A Day After Her Birthday | “Slow And Steady Wins The Race”

She had a long and successful career as a licensed practical nurse.

An 82-year-old woman just graduated college and is hoping to inspire others, reinforcing the fact that there is no age limit on education.

Mae Beale earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), reports CNN. According to a press release by the school, Beale decided to join the school in her late 70s. She said, "I discovered that I had to be intentional about it and make it my priority." Before deciding to join UMGC, she had had a long and successful career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), reports WJLA.




While working at the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, she helped design numerous huge events which encouraged her to pursue a career change. "My supervisors thought I had something special," she said of the time. "I organized some large events and everybody was impressed with it, so I started coordinating their IT information conferences."

Beale launched her own event management business in 1994, at the age of 54, and began working on her associate degree in Business Management at Howard Community College. She opted to enroll at UMGC after receiving her associate degree and began working toward a bachelor's degree, one class at a time. She said, "I wanted to make certain I had the time to devote to whichever class I was taking. I was like the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race."




Beale was an excellent student despite being older than the majority of her peers. During her time at UMGC, she graduated with honors and was on the dean's list several times. Beale spent a lot of her time at UMGC assisting others. She served on the UMGC Student Advisory Council for four years while pursuing her degree. Even when she completed her courses, she remained an ex-officio member until the conclusion of her degree in December 2020.


On May 18th, a day after her 82nd birthday, Beale earned her diploma along with 3,300 other graduates from the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022. According to Bob Ludwig, assistant vice president of media relations at the university, she graduated in the class of 2020. However, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the school had not had an in-person graduation ceremony since 2019.




Beale is busier than ever as a community champion with her Bachelor of Business Management after retiring as a licensed practical nurse. She has served on the boards of the Howard County, Maryland Tourism and Promotion, the Restaurant Association, the Festival of the Arts, and the Columbia Bright Minds Association, among others. She said, "I knew that if I had the degree, it would solidify things and make me feel more comfortable."

Beale had the support of a loving husband and kid throughout her career. She said, "I tell everyone my husband allowed me to be me. Whatever ambition or whatever I was doing, he was always my biggest, encourager and my biggest motivator." Beale's husband died some years ago, but her son is still one of her staunchest supporters. She hopes to be an inspiration for people who want to pursue higher education. She said, "Expose yourself to as many possibilities as you can because you never know what life will present."





Cover Image Credit: Screenshot - YouTube | ABC News