The strain of a 950-mile road trip is nothing compared to the two-year trek by a Tallahassee, FL firefighter to get his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.
Twenty-one year firefighting veteran Tonnie Rollins has spent the past two years earning his bachelor’s degree from WIU in general studies. He was in Macomb May 12 to walk across the stage to accept his diploma in person.
“I made a promise to myself when I enrolled that when I completed the program I would fly to Macomb and march with my class,” he said. “This was my first trip to Macomb.”
Rollins said he decided to pursue his degree because it was a personal goal and he would like to be a fire chief someday. He is currently a lieutenant with the Tallahassee Fire Department.
Rollins began his studies at WIU during the Fall 2010 semester and said he chose Western because of its affiliation with the National Fire College in Emmitsburg, MD. He said his favorite class was LEJA 481, Advanced Fire Administration.
“It gave me an insight on what administrators deal with on a daily basis,” he said.
For more information about WIU’s General Studies Department, visit www.wiu.edu/distance_learning/bachelor_of_arts_in_general_studies/.