The Importance of Being Educated

by Amanda Dahl

“Once you stop learning, you start dying,” Albert Einstein once said. For Sharolyn McCoy, that proved to be frighteningly true when a routine scan found an aneurism that had yet to erupt just beneath the bountiful curls that frame her face.

“I had brain surgery,” the 75 year-old grandmother states. “They put me on blood thinners and, five days later, filled that area up with coils and a stent.”

With a new lease on life, McCoy found the initiative to pursue something she had always hoped for: a college education. “Everyone in my family was educated except for me,” she recalls. “When I recovered, I wanted to finish. So, I sat down with my laptop and submitted my application to Maryville University. I was accepted in August 2017 – and I’ve never looked back.”

Maryville University had a certain appeal to her. For one, she lives in Ballwin, close to campus. For another, her twin grandchildren introduced McCoy to the university when they brought her and her husband to their freshmen orientation.

“We’re all really close in my family,” she smiles.“I don’t have any classes with my grandchildren but, when we see each other on campus, we hug. All of their friends are my friends. It’s wonderful.”

The twins, meanwhile, were blown away when their grandmother, who is pursuing a major in English literature and a minor in history, made both the honor’s roll and the dean’s list. McCoy’s family is not alone in cheering her on in her academic pursuits.


This story was originally published in the Ladue News. Photos courtesy of Sarah Conroy.

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