Gardner-Webb GOAL Graduate Celebrates 50 Years Working for Same Business
Slowing Down Not in the Plans for Seventy-Year Old Sybil Levan
BOILING SPRINGS, NC – Sybil Levan doesn’t know what it means to slow down. At age 70, this Gardner-Webb University GOAL (Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners) graduate recently reached a milestone of working for the same employer for 50 years, yet she plans to return to GWU to continue one of her favorite things: learning something new.
“I need to keep learning and need to be challenged,” said Levan. “I feel like education is such a beautiful process.” This coming from a woman who recently celebrated a half a century of employment with Interstate Equipment Company in Statesville, N.C., where she works in the accounting department. The business specializes in supplies, service, and repairing parts.
Levan’s story is very unique. Born and raised in Statesville, and still living there today, Levan has been married to her devoted husband, Ira, for 51 years. She graduated from Statesville High School in 1959, and enjoyed life as a wife and stepmother. It wasn’t until 2005, when she was 64 years old, that she successfully earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration through the GOAL program at Gardner-Webb University.
“The GOAL program made a difference in my life. My teachers were excellent and I made many new friends (fellow students) that I still stay in contact with today,” said Levan.
At this point in her life with her step-daughter living in Texas, no grandchildren, Interstate Equipment downsizing, and the need to be at home more to take care of her husband, Levan feels furthering her education is a good choice. “I—we—need to be aware of educational advancements and share them. By staying on top of education, I benefit myself, those around me, and my community,” Levan reflected. “I also want to be a good example to younger students in the classroom. Perhaps find myself a study buddy. Those kind of relationships are the best.”
Levan, inspired by the GOAL program and full of life now, plans to return to GWU’s Statesville campus and enroll in online classes in order to pursue her master’s degree in the spring semester. Levan says, “I now have the desire to do something different. That’s why I’m going into Criminal Justice this time round.”
No matter their age, individuals like Levan are proof that despite life’s funny twists and turns, they can continue their education and learn something new.
“It’s a great life as long as we can learn,” added Levan.
The GOAL program seeks to meet the unique needs of students working full-time jobs, while seeking advanced education. Students can continue their studies culminating in a baccalaureate degree. Majors include accounting, business administration, business management, computer information systems, healthcare management, nursing, and religious studies. This important mission of Gardner-Webb has been an ongoing effort for 34 years.