Posted May 13, 2019

After 17 years, longtime staffer earns degree

Connie Presser started her bachelor’s in marketing in 2001 and balanced the demands of classes, working full-time and raising a family.

Connie Presser on graduation day
Photography By: 
Courtesy Connie Presser
Connie Presser, a 2019 graduate and longtime Temple staff member, spent 17 years working toward her degree.

When she first enrolled in classes in 2001 amid raising a family and working full-time as an administrative coordinator in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Connie Presser knew one thing: She was determined to finish her degree.

And although it took her 17 years, this academic year, she finally reached that goal, joining her husband and her daughter, who both also attended Temple.

“It’s so important to me. It’s just a personal goal I’ve always had, and I just feel so accomplished finishing,” said Presser, who completed a bachelor’s degree in marketing at the Fox School of Business during the fall semester, but planned to walk in the school’s graduation ceremony in May. “I’ve always wanted to have a college degree, and I never pursued it out of high school, so it was time for me.”

Presser, a mother of three, grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and attended Lincoln High School. She has worked for the Lewis Katz School of Medicine since 1976, with a break between 1981 and 1996, when she stopped working to start her family.

She joins another longtime staff member and mother who earned her bachelor’s degree this year after pursuing it for more than a decade: Evy Lopez-Feliciano, who works in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Both women know a thing or two about perseverance and juggling priorities.

“As you’re taking classes, you’re like, ‘This is really hard, am I going to get through this?’” Presser said. “And yes, I did.”