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Blinn commencement speaker concludes 10-year journey to associate degree

Brenham’s Stephanie Rudolph quit school twice, but persevered to earn degree

May 11, 2016

Stephanie RudolphWhen Stephanie Rudolph takes the stage Friday to speak at Blinn College’s 135th commencement, it will end a 10-year journey to earn her associate degree in liberal arts.

Rudolph will speak before approximately 230 of her fellow graduates during Friday’s commencement ceremony, sharing a story of perseverance and a commitment to self-improvement.

“The points of my speech will be on the importance of education, perseverance and relationships,” Rudolph said. “To get the opportunity to speak is a huge honor to me.”

Rudolph’s college education actually got off to a fast start thanks to dual credit courses she took in 2006 while attending Brenham High School.

“I only had one full semester left following high school graduation in 2008 and a year on the Brenham campus,” she said. “So I moved to Austin after high school with the hopes of attending the University of Texas after completing my Blinn classes online.”

Upon moving to Austin, Rudolph was overcome by the demands of a full-time job and subsequently failed classes. A second attempt at college abruptly ended when she dropped out.

But in Fall 2015, she returned with a new perspective and a sense of determination.

“I think my priorities changed the second time around at school,” Rudolph said. “Now that I am older, I understand the importance of having a formal education and what that can do for you in the professional world.”

Since returning to Blinn, Rudolph has been inducted into the Sigma Kappa Delta and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. She now works as an administrative assistant for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Education at Texas A&M University.

Blinn’s commencement ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Brenham High School. Approximately 425 students will be recognized, and more than 230 are expected to attend.