63 years young: Never too late to earn a degree

Daria Ward was a 61-year-old mother of four grown children in 2008. She had just recently made the decision to return to school after many years working as a case worker for public welfare. She was proud of her career, but she had promised herself that she would one day complete her education, and it was time to make good on that promise. It’s Daria’s personal belief that it’s never too late to pursue your academic goals.

On June 14, 2010, at 63 years young, Daria graduated from Peirce College with honors, receiving her A.S. in Business Administration. Her son came all the way from Missouri to see his mother graduate and treated her to a limousine ride right to The Kimmel Center for the commencement ceremony. She was thrilled — and not just with the limo! It was a time to celebrate with friends and family. Daria’s neighborhood even threw a block party in honor of her accomplishment.

Since graduating, Daria took a moment to share her experience and encourage others. She wrote the following letter in late July. It’s meant to be read by those who might be wondering whether it’s too late to continue their education. Is that you?


My name is Daria Ward. Just seven weeks ago I walked up the steps at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and realized a lifelong goal, when I received my associate degree in Business Administration. While it was an exceptional moment for me, I will never forget the look on the faces of my children who were proudly watching their mother’s accomplishment.

I love it at Peirce College. I feel comfortable being a student here. The hands-on support and guidance, as well as individual attention Peirce provides, makes all the difference for me.

I learned it’s never too late to return to school, no matter what reason made you put it aside. There is no age limit on education—even at “61 years young” it was the right time for me to get started! As a former case worker for public welfare, I encouraged many of my clients to get jobs and become role models for their children and to go to college.

Getting my associate degree was a promise kept. What am I doing now? I am working on my bachelor’s degree at Peirce. It’s a challenge, but then again, Peirce helps empower me to succeed.

If you have been considering completing your degree, don’t put it off any longer. A college degree can help change your life like it did mine—you owe it to yourself to take that next step. Peirce also has a $500 Readmit Scholarship for which you may be eligible—yet another reason to get started again! The Readmit Team is available to help get your degree back on track. Contact them today at 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9026.


Daria Ward
Management, Business Administration

Today, Daria is proud to say that she is a Peirce College Ambassador, representing the College at internal and external events in order to share her experience with the community. A true ambassador of learning, Daria believes that time is of the essence. If your dream is to complete your college degree, now is the right time to get started, no matter what your age.