NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A special graduate crossed many obstacles to earn his degree Saturday. 55-year-old Cedric Hawkins earned his associates degree in a time school leadership call a re-birth of the college.
Shorter was founded in 1886 and at one time was a very well known institution, but financial and academic woes of the last decade shrunk enrollment to only 15 students in 2011. Lately, under new leadership the school appears to be turning the corner with more than 300 students today. Hawkins says his academic journey began with tragedy.
"I was hit by a car in October 7, 2007. I asked God what I was going to do because I like to work. He chose school for me. So the reason I'm here is because God sent me here and it has been a lovely and wonderful experience to get the knowledge and proceed in my first goal I should have did 35 years ago," said Hawkins.
Hawkins plans to enroll at Philander Smith College to get his bachelor's in business. He hopes to open up his own restaurant one day or manage an existing one.