For education inspiration, try the obituary page

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Mon, Aug, 26, 2013 @ 08:08:00 AM

In Hinds Community College, Associate's Degree, adult student, nontraditional student

If you’re an adult who would like to go back to college but you’re afraid to, perhaps you should read the obituary of a lady The Clarion-Ledger, including on Aug. 26, the day I read it.

I’m in the habit of looking over the obituaries almost every day. I’ve gotten to the age, ahem, when I might know someone.

I don’t know Dr. L.C. Dorsey or her family at all. But her obituary caught my eye.

She was born in 1938. She left high school in her senior year “to become a wife and mother of six children.” In 1968, at the age of 30, she returned to school and received a GED, which is a high school equivalency certificate. But as the title of her obituary implies, she didn’t stop there.

Dr. Dorsey received a master’s degree in social work, a certificate in Health Management from John Hopkins University and a doctorate in Social Work from Howard University.

“She also studied in Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, India, Russia and South Africa,” it says.


She left behind six children, seven grandchildren, one great-grandson. Her family requests memorial gifts to be made to Tougaloo College, “which she loved dearly.”

I googled Dr. Dorsey and found a long and impressive career in public service in Mississippi. I won’t detail all that here. You can do the same and find what I found.

But if you’re on the fence about whether it’s “too late” to go back to school and get your GED, or “too late” to enroll in Hinds Community College and work on your associate degree, or “too late” to enroll in that bachelor’s or graduate program, just think about this: Every year you have a birthday. Every year you’re another year older. Those birthdays keep on coming, no matter what is going on in your life. Would you rather have your next birthday with another year wasted and no progress made? Or would you rather have that birthday come with the realization you are in the process of completing an educational goal on your bucket list?

I have a birthday coming up, one of those scary landmark ones that make you realize that time is marching on. Today, Aug. 26, is also the first day of my first class in the master’s program I enrolled in. I won’t lie – I’m nervous. But if Dr. Dorsey can do it, so can I.

If you’re interested in enrolling in Hinds and getting started, second eight-week classes begin on Oct. 15.

To get started, go to our website at