To The Editor:

As East Central College celebrates its 50th anniversary I note sadly that a student in the first graduating class has passed away.

Marline M. Boland received her associate degree in 1972 and was chosen to be the college’s first commencement speaker. It is significant that Marline was given that honor.

She was 30 years old when she became part of the first class. Thus, she was to represent the thousands of non-traditional students who followed her. She sent her children to ECC and was a spokesperson for the college programs and for the opportunities the college offered to older students.

Many former students, faculty and staff have died in the last 50 years. Marline’s life in particular was a link to the school’s beginning and a reminder of the many nontraditional older adults East Central has served in the last 50 years.