Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date May 3, 2007

For More Information, Contact: Brenda J. Rayner (901) 333-4247 / Kimberly Kreider (901) 333-4023

75 Year Old Retiree Graduates from Southwest
Release written by Cheryl Bingham

On January 3, 1995, after 28 years of devoted and dedicated service to the United States Bankruptcy Court, Bernice Bridgeforth, affectionately known to her friends as “Bonnie,” retired. Pouring her energies in pursuit of her life long goal to become a college graduate, Bonnie will hold her dream in her hands on May 19, 2007 when she marches across the stage to receive an Associate of Science degree from Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Bridgeforth enrolled at Southwest during the 2004 spring semester as a Business Administration major. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1948 and attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville and LeMoyne-Owen College. Bonnie is a 75 year-old adult learner whose mind is as sharp as any recent high school graduate’s. She is an extraordinary person who definitely makes a difference at Southwest.

Widowed, mother of two and proud grandmother, Bridgeforth is an active civic and church leader. She has been a member of Mt. Pisgah Church for more than 50 years serving on numerous local boards and as secretary of the District Stewardess Counsel and member of the Board of Christian Education. She organized the Barton Heights community Neighborhood Watch in 1985, where she continues to serve as president. She is a member of the counsel of the South Precinct Citizen Police Department and a recent graduate of the Citizens Police Academy.

Bridgeforth supports her alma Mata, Booker T. Washington as courtesy treasurer for the Class of 1948 and serves as treasurer of the Henderson Business College Alumni Association. Her other community endeavors include support to the Orange Mound Day Care Center, volunteering at Seek for the Old Path Homeless Shelter and mentoring at Westhaven School once a week every month.

Bridgeforth fondly shares her motto with listeners, “I came, I saw and I conquered.”

Source: Fall 2004/Spring 2005 Saluqi Alumni Review  by Cheryl A. Bingham