Hortense Anglin, right, stands with her younger sister Osra Lindo, who made headlines in 2018 for graduating at 79.York University photo

Original Published on Oct 25, 2022 at 16:21

Hortense Anglin follows in granddaughter’s and younger sister’s footsteps

By Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Markham resident Hortense Valerie Anglin received a thunderous and standing ovation from guests and fellow graduates as she walked across the stage to receive her first degree and be congratulated by the platform party at York University’s in-person fall convocation.

“The diversity of our students is incredible, and that diversity also goes across age,” said Rhonda Lenton, president and vice-chancellor of York University. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the perfect representation of the importance of lifelong learning.

Inspired by her 79-year-old younger sister, Osra Lindo, who received an undergrad degree after learning about York’s pathway bridging program, Anglin, 85, also desired to purse education, which she had discontinued after high school, more than half a century ago.

But the journey was not a breeze.

Starting from completing a bridging program to transitioning from in-person to online education in March 2020, she had to adjust to new ways of learning quickly. Anglin appreciates the support of York’s technical support team as much as the help faculty members offered throughout her studies.

To be eligible for a bachelor’s degree program in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Anglin had to undergo the Bridging Program for Women (https://www.yorku.ca/laps/gsws/bridging-program-for-women/).

“For 13 weeks I commuted to the York University-TD Engagement Centre at Yorkgate Mall in Jane and Finch neighbourhood to attend the bridging program,” said Anglin.

And history repeated itself when she walked across the same York convocation stage as her sister in October 2018 and her granddaughter, Vanessa Joy Anglin, in June of that same year.

“It’s an absolutely ecstatic feeling!” said the Jamaican-born Canadian, after her recent convocation ceremony. “I have enjoyed every moment of this journey. It has been so meaningful and joyful.”

The Anglin sisters’ experiences have undoubtedly brought the power of example to many older adults who aspire to higher education.

“The bridging program was a simulation of university work,” she said, advocating for the program that supports not only to seniors like her, but also those who might have had challenges in pursuing higher education as well as newcomers to Canada.

The beauty of the bridging program was that it allowed people from different countries with degrees in physiotherapy, medical laboratory work, and even nursing, to go back to their old professions or switch to other professions, Anglin said.

Upon completing the bridging program, Anglin decided to pursue a degree in religious studies.

With interests in a variety of subjects, she also signed up to do a course in anthropology this fall. “Who knows, my next convocation would be for a master’s degree in the next couple of years,” said an enthusiastic and energetic Anglin.

This item reprinted with permission from   Economist & Sun   Markham, Ontario

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated