Velda Metelmann was born in 1922; Auriana Cook is 22. Both will accept their Marylhurst University diplomas as they join 300-plus degree candidates honored at Marylhurst’s 123rd commencement June 24 at the Oregon Convention Center.
Velda Metelmann, 94, will pick up her third Marylhurst diploma. She earned her bachelor’s in her mid-80s and her master’s in interdisciplinary studies three years ago. Now she has completed a master’s in food systems and society, attending classes predominantly online from her home in King City.
“Marylhurst has no prejudice against age, an attitude of mind that is too often internalized to an extent that people cripple themselves by thinking of themselves as too old to learn,” Metelmann said. “How thankful I am that Marylhurst has allowed me to join, make friends with, learn from younger people, and share my experiences in two master’s programs. I would encourage anyone, especially those of age, to continue advanced education.”
Cook, 22, traveled a more traditional educational path. She earned her associate’s degree at Clackamas Community College and transferred to Marylhurst to pursue a bachelor’s in English literature and writing. Cook wrote for CCC’s newspaper, the Clackamas Print, as well as penning feature stories for Marylhurst publications. She also worked at Marylhurst’s Shoen Library and tutored other students in the writing center. Last summer, she traveled to London and Rome in her first study abroad experience.
“After graduation, I plan to take time off to work, travel, pick up a new language and gain some teaching experience before I begin applying to graduate schools,” Cook said. “I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in literature. My dream is to one day teach medieval or Renaissance literature and to engage and inspire students the way that my professors have engaged and inspired me.”