51-year-old Larry Emmons uses education as a catalyst to change his life and overcome his disabilities.

Veteran returns to college as a way to cope with life after his military service.

photo for online spotlight

Larry Emmons, a veteran of the United States Army, faced a future filled with disabilities and uncertainty. Having spent two years in rehabilitation after being severely injured in Iraq, Emmons was medically discharged from the army.

"I was kind of lost and trying to find a way to regain a sense of who I was," Emmons said. "I needed to find a way to sharpen my mind and learn to overcome some of my disabilities." His solution was to return to college.

Now, at 51 years old, Emmons will finally earn his bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts. With concentrations in Philosophy and Sociology, the full-time online student expects to graduate after the Fall 2016 semester.

Why UMass Dartmouth?

While searching for a virtual place to study, Emmons knew exactly what he was looking for. He wanted a place that physically existed, had actual buildings, and real faculty.

"UMass Dartmouth really stood out to me," Emmons said. "After talking with the advisors and the Center for Access and Success, I found just what I was looking for --  a home of caring, helpful people."

And his new home exceeded all of his expectations. "When I call the university, they always seem to remember me and ask me how I am doing," Emmons said. "I love this university, and I am very proud to be a part of the UMass Dartmouth family."

A life-altering decision

Emmons is also proud about his decision to return to school to complete his bachelor's degree. The decision has changed his life.

"Since I started at UMass Dartmouth, my thinking and focus has improved exponentially, and I am doing very well with a 3.54 GPA," he said. "I think going to this university has changed my life and proved to me that I'm not just one of the many forgotten soldiers."


Online and Continuing Education, College of Arts and Sciences