Katherine O’Neil Veley graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 with a degree in creative leadership from University College (UC). Like the thousands of other students in the Class of 2020, Veley waited with excitement and anticipation for the day she would walk the stage with her friends, family and co-workers cheering her on and celebrating her success. Instead, she received a large white envelope in the mail with her diploma enclosed.

Veley, a former Syracuse University employee, spent decades earning that degree. She began college right out of high school, but life got in the way and she didn’t return for a second year. Instead, she joined the workforce. Her work experience eventually led to a job at the University. As part of a campus community, Veley soon understood the importance of a college degree.

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