Tales of the nontradtional
More news on adult and continuing education students. From The Chattanoogo Times Free Press.
Hamilton County entrepreneur Greg Vital took 36 years to finish his college degree, but on Sunday he graduated from Southern Adventist University and was the commencement speaker.
“Leave college with persistence, passion and a plan. Define yourself by the things you’ve accomplished,” he told some 440 graduates and thousands of people at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
The graduating class also included Southern’s first doctor of nursing practice graduates, the first doctoral program at the university.
Vital gave the commencement address two years after a controversy ignited over whether he intentionally misled people into thinking he already had a college degree. The context was his unsuccessful campaign for the 10th District state Senate seat in 2012.
Vital, 58, says he has always been upfront about his educational status. It wasn’t that flap that motivated him to get his degree, he said in an interview Sunday: He did it for personal satisfaction.
“This is about inspiring young people whose life and education gets interrupted, showing them that we must go back and finish what we start,” he said.