After 40-year journey, Memphis 59-year-old receives three college degrees


Alison Turner, 59, received three degrees from LeMoyne-Owen College on May 11.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 59-year-old Memphis woman received three degrees at LeMoyne-Owen College’s commencement ceremony Saturday. The 160 degrees conferred were the most for a graduating class in several years for the college.

Alison Turner graduated from Hamilton High School in 1978 — 40 years before she would go on to earn her college degree. But instead of settling for one degree, she earned three.

“Over the course of time,” she said in a Lemoyne-Owen news release, “it started with one thing and my interests just grew.”

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All degrees were earned with cum laude designation. Turner earned an Associate of Arts in general studies, a Bachelor of Arts in music and a Bachelor of Business Administration in management, according to the news release.

Turner said she faced setbacks throughout her journey towards a degree, both good and bad, like motherhood and health problems. But she said she’s “wiser and better for the experiences.”

The graduation ceremony was Saturday morning at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood

“Greenleaf” actor and activist Lamman Rucker delivered the commencement address. He and legendary former lead singer for the Bar-Kays Larry Dodson were awarded honorary degrees during the ceremony.

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