TCNJ Magazine: Fall 2017

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52 FALL 2017 2. "Don't drag classes out too long. If you take a break for 10 years, you lose your credits and have to start all over." LAUREN H. ADAMS 10 8. Finals are stressful at any age, but Stoffels felt additional pressure. "If I flubbed this up, other older students may not get a chance to go back to school." 1. Be prepared to fight stereotypes. "On the first day of class, students thought I was the professor." TCNJ X10 3. Your acceptance letter may be followed by an eviction note. Stoffels had to work around the residency rule of her senior citizen housing that bans students. 10. Up next? "I have always wanted to wear one of those squishy hats the doctoral graduates wear." 4. Stoffels hit the books while her retired friends hit the links, but she still landed in a golf cart — which whisked her from her car to Commencement. 5. "College made me a strong grandparent. My grandkids don't see me in a rocker. They see me on a computer, doing research, exploring the world." 9. Benefit for millennials: "I shook hands with John F. Kennedy. A senior citizen in the classroom brings a different reality to history." things you need to know about… FINISHING WHAT YOU START A self-described brainiac, BARBARA STOFFELS '17 started college at Rutgers in 1960, but after sophomore year, she hit pause to marry and raise kids. She tried to go back, but life intervened, including breaking her neck after being thrown from a horse. The last time was the charm: She earned her bachelor's in English in May, 57 years after she started. —Kara Pothier MAT '08 6. Stoffels' 50-year-old daughter, Lorrie Koonz, is working on a bachelor's at Thomas Edison State University. "It takes awhile, but we never quit." 7. Stoffels met President Gitenstein on graduation day. "She whispered to me, 'I am almost as old as you are.' What a giggle!"

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