GREENWICH, Conn. — There are any number of reasons to go back to college and earn a degree. For Mary Buck of Greenwich, it's the young man soaking up sunshine in her front yard.
“My son, Matthew, will be going to college soon, and I want to be a good role model for him,” Buck says inside her quaint home. A circle of cookies adorns a serving plate in her dining room while splashes of sunbeams light the lawn.
Buck enrolled in the University of Bridgeport’s IDEAL program to pursue a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a social science concentration. Accelerated classes and flexible scheduling allows her to go to classes without heavily impacting her work and home lives.
Years ago, Buck went to the University of Akron in her native Ohio, where she enrolled as a music major. She plays clarinet and piano and thought music was the right direction for her. Shortly after she started, though, she realized music wasn’t her passion. She took her sister up on a chance to move to New York and eventually found her way to Greenwich.
Buck attended community colleges here and there over the years trying to find her niche. She recalls that one, based out of New Jersey, held some evening courses at a high school that was nearby. The convenience attracted her.
When she started thinking about going back to school, a church friend recommended the University of Bridgeport. Buck asked the Stamford campus staff whether they could handle all of her requirements from that location, eliminating the need to take time off from work to go to Bridgeport. Their assurances reminded her of the convenience of that earlier community college experience and she signed up.
It may take her a couple of years to finish the degree, but Buck looks forward to it. She doesn’t have post-graduation plans as of yet but cherishes knowing that she’ll have options and opportunities. “Having that piece of paper, it’s actually very important to me,” she says.