One alumna is helping students in the University College at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette by gifting the General Studies online program’s first scholarship.
Kimberly Bainbridge graduated from the University in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies. She originally majored in Business, but she switched to General Studies to take night classes to graduate faster in order to help her family during a family crisis.
“I was trying to work and go to school and get my degree in a more non-traditional way at the time,” Bainbridge said.
Bainbridge said she wants to help students who are going the non-traditional route at UL Lafayette similarly to her experience. She said she wants non-traditional students to realize they can improve their lives with any kind of degree, but especially one in General Studies.
“This degree will help you no matter what,” Bainbridge said. “I’ve been working at [Baker Hughes] for 32 years with this degree, and I’ve traveled around the world and had great opportunities.”
Bainbridge said in the long run, employers just want to know you have a degree. She said she tells her employees that with any degree, it lets employers know you started something, and you finished it.
“I want to give people confidence that they can achieve their dreams with this degree,” Bainbridge said. “By just understanding that having a degree from UL Lafayette, you could be more than you ever thought possible.”
Bainbridge said anyone who earns his or her college degree no matter how long it takes puts his or her life and education at the forefront. She said no matter how long it may take, he or she has the degree, and no one can take it away.
Bainbridge’s husband, Thomas, attended college at Illinois State University, but Bainbridge said he has totally supported his wife’s decision to support her university in this way.
“We gave our money so that someone who might not have had a great childhood or wasn’t raised in the best place will have an opportunity to change his or her life, and that’s what we were looking for,” Bainbridge said.