Non-traditional student to receive top honors during ISU?s winter commencement

December 8 2006

At the age of 48, Carol Ann Geiger Roberts has not only earned her bachelor's degree, but also the top undergraduate honor at Indiana State University's 2006 winter commencement.

Roberts is one of two students being awarded the Hines Memorial Medal for the highest grade-point average during commencement ceremonies Dec. 16 in Hulman Center.

The award is named for Linnaeus Neal Hines who was ISU's president from 1921 through 1933.

Roberts. of New Lebanon, quit her job of 15 years in a high school cafeteria to become a student again. As a non-traditional student, Roberts said she was concerned about how the other students would treat her.

"That fear went away when I realized that everyone present just wanted to learn, and it didn't matter that I was older than most people," she said. "I've really enjoyed working with the other students."

College became a reality when Roberts found herself in circumstances where she could be a student full-time. With a love of history and geography, and a desire to teach, Roberts said choosing to attend ISU was an easy choice.

"I knew that ISU was known for its education program, and I was excited to explore the curriculum for social sciences. ISU also was close enough that I could drive and commit to being a student, while continuing to be a supportive wife and mother," she said.

As a social science education major, Roberts maintained a 4.0 GPA.

"I've worked very hard these past couple of years," Roberts said, "and I've been able to achieve such a high grade-point average by keeping ahead or at least caught up with the reading, taking lots and lots of notes, and not being afraid to ask questions if I didn't get something."

Roberts said she is grateful for the support of her family, her husband and son; and for her professors at ISU.

"All of the professors portrayed professionalism, personality and knowledge in their subject area," Roberts said. "They all helped me in some way."

Upon graduation, Roberts plans to be a substitute teacher while she pursues a position as a junior high or high school social science teacher.

The other recipient of the Hines Memorial Medal who will be recognized during winter commencement is Kathy Marie Sykes of Fillmore, a special education and elementary education major.

Commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the ISU Hulman Center. The processional will start at 1:50 p.m., followed by the ceremony at approximately 2 p.m.

-30- Photo: A publication-quality, high-resolution photo of Carol Ann Roberts is available at:
Carol Ann Roberts

Contact: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or

Writer: Brianna Bullerdick, media relations intern, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3773,

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Story Highlights

At the age of 48, Carol Ann Roberts has not only earned her bachelor's degree, but also the top undergraduate honor at Indiana State University's 2006 winter commencement -- a Hines Medal.

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