It's Never Too Late to Earn Your Degree

95 year old recent alumna
Winona Trimble receives degree from Phoenix College
June 18, 2018

“Don’t Give UP! Keep Going!”  That’s Winona Trimble’s motto.  The 95-year-old widow and mother of three recently walked across the Phoenix College commencement stage to receive her diploma to a standing ovation of fellow graduates. Cameras flashed and a television news crew was on hand to record the heartwarming moments.

Holding her diploma on the stage was none other than Marshall Trimble ‘58, nephew and Arizona State Historian. Her youngest son, Doug, helped her make her way across the platform where Marshall Trimble and President Haines greeted her.

A Life-Long Dream

Winona Trimble waited over 70 years to finish her dream of graduating with an associate’s degree. Her entire family was on hand to celebrate her achievement.

Like many of her generation, Trimble went to college after high school but found that her time was stretched too thin between being a wife and mother to three small children. The young family did not have long together before tragedy stuck. Trimble’s husband, Jack ’47, unexpectedly passed away leaving her with three small children to raise.

Fortunately, her parents were there to lend a supportive hand. One day, as Trimble was tending her kids in their home in Tempe, her mom said, “Why don’t you go back to school? We don’t need two of us to watch the children.” She went back to school but money was tight so she left college to get a full-time job as a bookkeeper, working at 1st National Bank and then finding her career with the City of Tempe Elementary School District.  Her options for jobs were limited to walking distance from her house as the family did not own a car.

Through it all, Trimble was always a positive person and appreciative of the people and things around her.

Things are good. I’ve had a good life. – Winona Trimble

It's Never Too Late

She didn’t believe she would ever have enough credits to graduate from college until her youngest son, Doug, started pouring through her old transcripts. While she had taken a few classes at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College throughout the years, she had a love and fondness for Phoenix College. That was the place she had always dreamed of completing her degree.

When Doug took her aged and paper transcripts to the Phoenix College Office of Admissions, he was greeted with a team of helpful and enthusiastic advisors. 

There was always this story in my family that my mom almost finished her degree. I wanted to get rid of the word ‘almost.’ We needed a different ending. -  Doug Trimble

The evaluation team at Phoenix College poured over all of her credits and was happy to discover that Trimble met the required credits for an associate’s degree!

Thanks and Wisdom

Trimble credits her children with inspiring her to always do her best. She is thankful to Doug for never letting her give up on her dream of graduating from college.

I always had a desire to go to college. I would tell anyone thinking of getting their degree late in life to finish! Finish! I should have done it years ago. – Winona Trimble

If you have questions concerning your credits or completing your degree at Phoenix College, please contact Admissions and Records.

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.