Great Grads

Portraits of Betty Sue Davis Wright in 1959 and 2011
Betty Sue Davis Wright

I started my college education in 1959, the year after I graduated from high school, with little support from my parents.

I began at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in music, my first love. But then I got married and life happened. The marriage did not last very long, but it gave me two terrific daughters, Pam and Beth, whom I now needed to fully support.

I was an IRS secretary in 1967 when the Veterans Administration opened a data processing center next door to where I worked. I only had to pass the Federal Service Entrance Examination to get the opportunity for on-the-job training and become a computer programmer.

The job was an excellent fit for me, and it allowed me to raise my children on a salary far better than that of a secretary. I still wanted to continue my formal education.

Over the years, I accumulated 100-plus credit hours from five Texas universities, once taking off work for a year to go back to school full time. It was in this full-time return to school that UNT advisor Connie Fickenscher was so encouraging to me and helpful in getting all of my old college credits to properly transfer.

After I retired in 2011, I still planned to earn my B.A., but I accepted the fact that a music degree was no longer accessible. Still, just being in the musical atmosphere of UNT was appealing. With advisor Kristin Ringe's assistance, I chose to major in integrative studies. After a while, I realized I could minor in music as well.

Amazingly, over the years, the campus has retained a lot of its personality. The big changes are in the expansions such as Apogee Stadium, Discovery Park and the Murchison Performing Arts Center. And, of course, the smartphone.

Before I returned to school this last time, I volunteered with organizations including the Denton Senior Center Chorus and Our Daily Bread. I am proud of the work I have done and look forward to new opportunities.

Betty Sue Davis Wright ('18)

Editor's note: Read more stories from our May graduates in our Great Grads series.

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