‘I didn’t think I’d survive biology, algebra, statistics’


Graduating class speaker Susan Exworthy of De Pere began her remarks at Saturday’s UW-Green Bay commencement by recalling her initial trepidation at enrolling in college as a returning adult student.

It was 2011, she was 48 years old and, she said, “I didn’t think I’d survive biology, algebra and statistics… but I did.”

She went on to earn her bachelor’s in Social Work and proceeded immediately on to graduate studies. Exworthy credited the help of caring faculty members and UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary, problem-solving approach for her academic success.

Recipient of a master’s degree in Social Work on Saturday, she shared numerous examples of ways Social Work students are engaging the community. She exhorted the nearly 5,000 in attendance to be more conscious of community crises from homelessness to heroin addiction, she lectured on the urgent need for solutions, and she plugged for additional funding of programs to address these issues.

She urged her fellow grads to be active members of their communities.  “Get involved,” she said. “Donate, speak up at city council or county board meetings, contact your legislative representatives… but get involved.”

Our news release has more about Exworthy, and her selection as student speaker, here.

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