Pursuing Higher Education; Hardly Easy, but Always Worth It

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Daymar College

Daymar College takes pride in Changing Lives…One Person at a Time. This is the mission statement all who works for Daymar College are very passionate about, whether working on campus directly with students or behind the scenes at the corporate office. Unfortunately, behind the scenes means not always being there to watch lives transform.

That changed on Thursday, December 18. Daymar College’s corporate office hired one of their own graduates after the Fall 2014 quarter from Daymar College Online with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Melissa Thompson is Daymar Colleges Group’s Executive Director of Administration. She joined the company in 2002 after working for Leader News and her experience includes administration, advertising, customer service, graphic design and public relations. Melissa decided to add to her credentials by pursuing her Associate of Science in Business Administration and Technology from Daymar College which she completed in 2010. With an already impressive resume, there seems to be little reason for Melissa to pursue her bachelor’s, but two years after completing her associate’s, that’s exactly what she did.

“I pursued my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration for so many reasons. My two daughters were getting older and I wanted to set an example for them so they would understand the importance of education. Also, I love what I do so learning more about my field was so exciting! The final decision was made when my mentor, Mark A. Gabis, said to me, “Two years will come and go, you will either have your degree or you won’t…it’s your choice.” After that, I was so determined to get my degree that I wasn’t going to let anything slow me down. During this time, my home was destroyed by a tornado, my mentor passed away and I was diagnosed with a rare pain disorder and diabetes. It wasn’t easy at times, but I kept pushing forward because I knew this day would come and I am so grateful to all who supported me along the way!”


Not only did Melissa face unexpected obstacles which could have easily put her education on hold, she continued to work for Daymar Colleges Group, punching in approximately fifty hours a week. She also never ceased her volunteer work for The Mark A. Gabis Foundation as a Fundraiser Coordinator. And believe it or not, she did all that and still had time to care for her family which includes her husband Darryl, her two daughters; Amber, age 21 and Sarah, age 16, and a pup named Pepper who dutifully sat on the back of Melissa’s recliner and her shoulders while she did her homework every night. Melissa’s story is inspiring and proves that anyone in any circumstance can complete his or her degree. You just have to want it.

Daymar College Executive Director of Administration Melissa Thompson receiving award

Melissa’s achievement of her personal goal is such a proud moment for her, her family, and her Daymar College family. Dan Peterson, Chancellor, presented Melissa with a plaque to congratulate her on her achievement. “This is a milestone for Melissa and being here to share this moment with her is a honor,” said Dan after presenting the plaque. Everyone knows they can count on Melissa to know just about everything that goes on at Daymar Colleges Group, but she certainly had no idea why all of her co-workers had suddenly flooded her office space. Her reaction was raw, in the moment and showed her appreciation for the gesture. It’s well known that Daymar College strives every day to provide a warm, friendly, nurturing environment for its students, turns out that some environment is provided for employees as well.

Congratulations Melissa! You’re an inspiration to all who thought a college education wouldn’t be possible. 

Learn more about Higher Education at Daymar College.