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Back when they were first married, money was tight for Janice and minor-league ballplayer Dan Gladden. His first contract was for $550 a month.
So she set aside her dream of a post-secondary degree and quit a community college in California to support her husband.
“It was one of those things where Dan had the opportunity,” Janice said in an Augsburg College profile last year. “Someone needed to work. It’s worked out really well, and we’ve been very fortunate.”
Life was good for the couple – Gladden became a World Series star for the Minnesota Twins, and is now a team radio announcer. Janice has spent 19 years at Target Financial Services. They have two grown daughters.
But Janice always wanted to go back for that college degree. Thirty-five years later, she has it, having walked among this spring's graduates at Augsburg College, WCCO reports. She told the station that she had been inspired by her two daughters, who also graduated from Augsburg.
“This was something I needed to do," she told WCCO after graduating with honors in communications. "It was probably at the top of the bucket list for me.”
Her family couldn't be happier for her. “I know it’s something that she really, really wanted – and my grandpa really wanted for her – so it’s awesome," daughter Whitney told WCCO.
Janice told Augsburg, “My father would be so proud, so proud I stuck to it, no matter my age,” she said. “Education was the biggest deal to him. It’s what I remember him emphasizing when I was little: ‘Education. Education. Education.’”