Finding an Option That Works: Alum Gives Back to His Online School

October 7, 2011 · Leave a Comment 

Don Tapia said that after joining the air force straight out of high school and living in a Detroit tenement, secondary education wasn’t a possibility for him. However, he maintained a desire to pursue college someday, and after over 40 years out of the classroom, he made the leap and returned to school.

However, as a busy business owner with a family, a traditional program was not feasible. That is when, after sifting through various Internet clutter, he found St. Leo University of Florida. There, he earned a bachelors as well as a masters degree with the school, and found the experience so rewarding, he recently gave 4 million dollars back to the school that finally “gave him [the] option”.

What Makes St. Leo Unversity Special

He says that he is often questioned as to how an online program could forge in him such loyalty and gratitude. What makes St. Leo so unique? It turns out it is a traditional brick-and-mortar university, and alive with the energy of students in its physical hallways. It has a long history in Florida and even has a commencement ceremony for online graduates. He could meet his professors in person and visit the campus as he liked. To him, the school was “real,” and the courses both challenging and rewarding. By attending St. Leo University online, he was able to work classes around his schedule and he could attend to his business and family at the same time. In this case, the school truly provided him the chance to fulfill his dream of a higher education degree that worked for him.

The Importance of a Degree

Tapia’s love of his grandchildren helped push him into getting his degrees at St. Leo University. He wanted his grandchildren to see the importance of a degree and know that “if Granddad can do it at 65, I can do it.” He speaks to how, in his day, he could create and manage a successful business with only a high school diploma. However, he emphasizes that today, “a bachelor’s degree is the ticket for young people to find work and lead successful and productive lives. It is the most important investment that students will make in their future.”

Read his heart-warming testimonial here.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!