2022 Graduate Stories

Years Later, Navy Veteran Enrolls in UC to Finish RWU Degree

By Melanie Thibeault
A headshot of Kelvin Purvis

Kelvin Purvis started a bachelor’s degree program at RWU’s Bristol campus in the late 1990s and left before finishing due to military and family obligations. Now, Purvis is receiving a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from University College and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Educational Psychology.  

Returning to Roger: “I’m on my second career now, having spent a number of years in the military. I had an inkling that I needed to finish what I started and go beyond that. My overall goal was to enroll in a graduate program. I just needed to finish (my bachelor’s). I reached out to (Assistant Dean in the Gabelli School of Business) Barbara Grota, who’s a dear friend. She put me in touch with Pamela Pereira (UC’s Assistant Director of Retention and Student Services). Through my military training and previous courses, I was able to utilize the prior learning assessment program. Being on the campus really had an impact on my life. It’s reinforced my decision to want to continue (my academic pursuits).”  

Feeling Connected from Afar: “I’m an IT systems project manager in Maryland. I’m also a small business owner of an education technology consulting firm. With working full-time and running a business, having an online option is wonderful. Even though I’m geographically challenged, I feel that inclusion. I receive a lot of emails about what’s going on on campus – the lectures, the emphasis on diversity and inclusion – those are all amazing things that RWU is doing. I feel connected even though I’m far away.”  

Education at Any Age: “Early on, there was some trepidation. Should I do this at this point in my life? Just being committed to lifelong learning and pursuing your goals, you will get there. Just being in a learning environment is what’s most important to me. I don’t think that’s something that can be mitigated by age, which can be a deterrent for some. Get in there and stay the course.”  

Purvis is from Montgomery County, Maryland.  

Every May, as Commencement nears, RWU spotlights members of the graduating class. Suggestions are welcome. Email: stories@rwu.edu 

2022 Graduate Stories