Beale was also one of the star students in her class, graduating with honors and making the dean's list several times during her time at UMGC.
As Mae Beale will tell you, it's never too late to pursue higher education.
The elderly woman just earned her bachelor's degree after turning 82. Beale fulfilled a dream that she harbored for years when she earned a bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). She was awarded her diploma on May 18, a day after her 82nd birthday, reported WJLA. Beale currently works in the event management industry but initially started out as a licensed practical nurse in Washington, DC. Beale is aware of the wonders higher education can do for a person and for her, it meant a huge boost in self-confidence. "I knew that if I had the degree, it would solidify things and make me feel more comfortable," she said. Beale encouraged others to pursue higher education as well and seek more exposure. "Expose yourself to as many possibilities as you can because you never know what life will present," she said.
Beale said she always wanted to find the time before committing to the degree. "I wanted to make certain I had the time to devote to whichever class I was taking," she said."I was like the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race. I discovered that I had to be intentional about it and make it my priority," she said. Beale was also one of the star students in her class, graduating with honors and making the dean's list several times during her time at UMGC. Beale completed her coursework in the class of 2020 but the school didn't hold an in-person graduation ceremony since 2019 on account of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the graduation ceremonies of the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 were held together where she was one of 3,300 graduates to receive their diplomas.
Ready for some joy on your timeline? Mae Beale is 82 years old, and she just graduated from the University of Maryland Global Campus with a degree in Business Management. She’s 1 of over 3600 grads getting a personalized @umdglobalcampus ceremony. Her story on @fox5dc at 4/5/6! pic.twitter.com/h4ZyveANQ6— Katie Barlow (@katieleebarlow) May 18, 2022
She also served on the UMGC Student Advisory Council during her time there. After finishing her coursework, she continued as an ex-officio member until her term ended in December 2020. In January 2021, Beale was honored as Volunteer of the Month. Well into her retirement as a licensed practical nurse, and now as a community advocate with her Bachelor of Business Management in hand, Beale has joined local boards, including Howard County, Maryland Tourism and Promotion, the Restaurant Association, the Festival of the Arts and the Columbia Bright Minds Association.
She is also an activist and has been working for the betterment of society for nearly 50 years. Her service to society was recognized when she was inducted into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame in March 2016. Months later, she received the Associated Black Charities’ 2016 Women on the Move Award. She was also a volunteer in Howard County for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, reported Kiro7. She recalled making the jump from a career in nursing to the event-management industry. While she was working with the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a nurse, Beale helped organize several large events and many of her superiors were impressed by her talent. “My supervisors thought I had something special,” said Beale. “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.”
82-year-old Mae Beale graduates from college, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from University of Maryland Global Campus. Here, she receives her diploma from UMGC President Gregory Fowler. Congratulations, Mae! pic.twitter.com/m4IYFpWt3F— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 29, 2022
Beale started her own event-planning business in 1994 at the age of 54 and decided to get an associate degree in Business Management at Howard Community College, reported CNN. Once she completed her associate degree program, she set a goal of earning a bachelor's degree. Beale wants to inspire others to chase their dreams as well. “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 told WRC.
Cover Image source: YouTube screenshot/ABC News | WJLA