Vestavia Hills Living

2017

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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Samford's business school every Sunday at church. One Sunday, she mentioned to him that she'd always wanted to return and finish her degree. "He just said, 'you need to do that, and I'll arrange it,'" she says. "He found my transcript and did everything that needed to be done to get me registered." O V E R C O M I N G T H E C H A L L E N G E Completing her degree was a priority for Jacks, but it wasn't easy to get there. "It was very hard," she says. "I studied all the time." When it was time to take her first exam, in a course on the history of language, Jacks was so overwhelmed that she called her professor and said she didn't think she could do it. "He said, 'Yes, you can,' and offered to give me the test verbally in his office," she says. "I passed." With support from instructors and fellow students alike, Jacks pushed forward, one class, one field trip, one assignment at a time. "In biology, we did a lot of experiments where the students had to work in teams, and all the boys and girls in my classes were just so helpful and so kind to me," she says. "It really gave me an appreciation for young people." Studying was difficult, especially with digital-only textbooks. "The computer was my nemesis; sometimes I would just cry because I couldn't get it to do right," Jacks says. "I did a lot of praying. I would just say over and over the verse, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).'" E N J O Y I N G T H E B E N E F I T S At 85, college was a challenge—but it was also a blessing, Jacks says. "I love the spirit of the campus and just enjoy being there," she says. "My family has been so supportive, and it was just a wonderful experience." On graduation day, the university president stopped the ceremony to recognize Jacks and her accomplishment. "I got a standing ovation from everybody; isn't that something?" she says. Afterwards, one of Jacks' daughters hosted a graduation party for her, and all of her professors came to celebrate with her. In the year since completing her degree, Jacks says she often sees or hears things that remind her of something she learned in her classes. "It's refreshing to know something new," she says. "It just does your heart good to have an experience like that at my age." At 85, college was a challenge— but it was also a blessing, Jacks says. " I love the spirit of the campus and just enjoy being there. My family has been so supportive, and it was just a wonderful experience. " J A C K S 2 0 1 7 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 65

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