Nyack College is proud to announce our 2015 Valedictorian: Roxanne Caleb of Queens Village, New York. She has worked at Morgan Stanley for over 28 years and this is her story:
I was born on September 22, 1958 in Georgetown, Guyana. I attended Bishops’ High School (the leading girls’ school) and graduated in 1976. In 1984, I immigrated to the United States of America. On July 14,1986, I joined Morgan Stanley (then Dean Witter) where I have worked for the past 28 years and 9 months. I worked in three departments, Data Entry, Margins and finally Legal and Compliance division where I have been a Compliance Officer for the last 21 years. Though I have a Series 3 license, which enables me to trade on the Futures Markets, I have only a high school diploma and job experience.
In Spring 2009, in response to the call of God, I entered Nyack College to obtain a degree in Pastoral Ministry. I was just past my 50th birthday and I had no idea what college entailed. Since I had been out of school for 33 years, I started with two classes, College Writing 1 and Old Testament. When I received an A in both classes, I asked God for four things.
- To keep my GPA of 4.0
- To glorify Him in my classes (attendance, attitude, quality of work etc.)
- To graduate with the highest honors (I found out later this was Summa Cum Laude)
- To be valedictorian.
As the years passed, one A- lowered my GPA, but several terms later it came back to 4.0 and I rejoiced. Then another A- lowered it. Now it is 3.99, not perfect but still great.
God has blessed me from the inception of my college career. When I started school, I discovered that my company’s policy was to contribute a maximum of $10,000 per year to any undergraduate degree for employees of good standing. I have received $10,000 each year to defray the cost of school expenses. Though the money is taxed, whatever remains is more than I had and enabled me to complete school without needing private loans. Additionally, on at least five occasions my job has allowed me to leave to attend classes that start at 2.20pm. When I was in Harborside Financial Center, NJ, I had to leave at 1.30 to reach to the campus on Broadway. This was divine favor because none of these classes were secular. They were “Life of Jesus,” “Divine Healing,” “Intro to Global Engagement” etc. When the college moved to 2 Washington St, my job location moved to 1 New York Plaza, a 10 minute walk away. Last semester, I left on Mondays for a 2.20pm class and on Wednesdays for an 11.00am class (I returned to work when it was over) and left at 5.00pm since my work was completed. This semester, I leave every Wednesday to attend a 2.20pm class on Intertestamental Literature.
Graduation is now in sight and I am excited to see how God has answered my prayers. Nyack College has been a joyful experience for me. My professors have poured into me and I have learnt a great deal and grown spiritually. I started Nyack just after my 50th birthday and will graduate just before my 57th birthday. It has been 6 ½ great years. Ironically, my bosses are also thrilled because I will have an undergraduate degree even though it is in Pastoral Ministry. God does choose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.