Mother of five returns to Auburn to finish degree, graduates during pandemic

Mother of five returns to Auburn to finish degree, graduates during pandemic
Heather Floyd (Source: Auburn University)

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - A mother of five who had to put her education dreams on hold is now an Auburn alumna 14 years after beginning her degree.

Heather Floyd was just 25 credits away from graduating with a bachelor’s degree in management with a concentration in human resources in Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business in 2010.

Last spring, Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter told her she wanted to be a veterinarian and her mother warned of the challenges of that program and the need to push yourself. It was then she realized she was speaking to herself just as much as she was her daughter.

“I was pushing her to reach her full potential and I’m not reaching my own!” Floyd said.

One of Floyd’s biggest concerns was who would keep her children while she attended classes due to her husband’s demanding job as an Opelika firefighter.

Floyd Family
Floyd Family (Source: Auburn University)

The difficulty of returning to school was heightened by the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to online learning.

“When I was frustrated I would just look at my kids and think, ‘I can’t quit,’” she said. “What kind of example would that be setting for them? Would I be showing them that when it gets hard that it’s OK to give up?"

Floyd pushed through with the help and encouragement of her family and completed her degree that she began in 2006.

She was set to graduate in the May 2 graduation ceremony, but the pandemic saw that ceremony canceled. She now plans to walk in the joint spring-summer commencement ceremony in August.

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