Linda McMullen

Never too late

Linda McMullen understands all the worries of non-traditional students who decide to go back to school. She knows because she was a non-traditional student herself.

McMullen, Director of Evening College, says she dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania so she could go to work full-time.

"That was an easy decision for me to make, because I was much more engaged with the activities at the university than I was with the classes," she says with a laugh. "But my boss at the school, who became president of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, hired me for an administrative position with her on the condition that I finish my undergraduate degree."

She says it took her 20 years, but she finally earned her bachelor's degree in 1995 and her master's degree in Organizational Leadership in 1999.

"I have my second master's in Organizational Development, and I am at the dissertation stage for my Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems," she says.

She is married to the Rev. Walter McMullen, pastor of Wilson Chapel in Greenville. They have three adult sons and a "wonderful" 3-year-old grandson.

In 1999, she was hired by LaGrange to begin an Evening College.

"My charge was to develop a program that was especially for adult students, ages 25 and older," she says. "We just celebrated our 12th anniversary last year and are going strong."

McMullen says the ideal enrollment for the program is 150 students.

"I believe that in the future, we will have five or six degree-completion programs," she says. "Instead of trying to be a huge program, we are intent on focusing on disciplines where professional employment opportunities are expected to remain strong."

McMullen is a passionate advocate for the power of education.

"There are so many success stories in Evening College," she says. "There was the student who told me she had majored in partying at her former school. When I looked at her transcript, I had to agree with her. But she graduated summa cum laude and got a teaching position with the Carroll County schools. She now has a master's degree in education. I consider that a success."

And there are many others with similar stories.

"Any student who makes that personal goal and finishes the program is a success because they have modeled something for their family and for their children that will encourage them to go to school. That's the ultimate success."

For more information about Evening College, contact Terri Bassett at or (706) 880-8298.

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