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Limestone's Extended Campus Program Helped Matt Gable Finally Earn His Degree

Monday, May 8, 2017 - 3:15pm

After 25 years, Matt Gable is a college graduate.

 It took a few moments for the achievement to sink in Saturday when Gable drove from his home in Summerville for a Limestone College graduation ceremony.

The emotion hit as, wearing his cap and gown, he walked in to take a seat with other soon-to-be-graduates inside Fullerton Auditorium.

“I came close to tears as I walked into the graduation ceremony,” Gable said. “I realized at that moment…I’m finally finished. I’m done.”

Gable graduated with honors from Limestone College on Saturday, May 6, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Information Technology.

He earned more than 80 hours over the past four years by taking online courses in 8-week terms through the College’s Extended Campus.

Classes are designed specifically for working adult students and can be done through evening or online courses.

Gable started his long journey towards a college education after he graduated in 1991 from D.W. Daniel High School near Clemson. He enrolled at Clemson University in the fall of 1991 and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps for almost six years.

 After learning the Marines in 1997, he took college classes at Tri-County Technical College in Anderson for a year. He quit school to enter the workforce and spent much of the next two decades establishing a good career in computer science.

“You can see a pattern here with me where I would go to school and quit,” Gable said.

There were thoughts about the possibility of returning someday to finish a degree. The ultimate motivation occurred close to home when his wife became a college graduate.

“When my wife, Emily, got her Bachelor’s Degree in accounting in 2010, I mulled it over,” Gable said. “I thought, ‘If she can do it, so can I.’ I decided to go back to college and see how far I could go this time.”

He looked into online degree programs offered at the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, the University of South New Hampshire, and Clemson University. He chose Limestone College after speaking with several co-workers and researching the costs and times he could fit a college education into a busy life.

“It came down to cost and course scheduling,” Gable said.

 Gable continued to work full-time after he enrolled at Limestone in fall of 2012 while persevering in studying, writing and taking college exams.

 There was the added responsibility of his work-duty phone. He worked to resolve networking and computer issues during many non-working hours and then had to resume the tasks required for his respective professors.

All the late hours were worthwhile when Gable walked across the stage to receive his college degree in front of his parents, wife and sister Ginger. Relatives traveled from Clemson, Summerville, Woodruff, and Charlotte to watch Gable receive his college diploma.

“It was a long journey that started 25 years ago,” Gable said on his graduation day. “Today was the culmination of something that I always wondered what would happen if I went back to finish.”

(Article & Photo by Scott Powell, The Gaffney Ledger, May 8, 2017)

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