Before meeting in their hometown of Pinconning, Jeremy and Christine Marchand attended Delta College as single parents with full-time jobs.
About 10 years ago, both alumni decided to go back to college to further their education and explore new careers. Jeremy earned an associate’s degree in environmental technology in 2012; Christine earned an associate’s degree in chemistry in 2011.
After graduating, they transferred to Saginaw Valley State University for biochemistry. But getting bachelor’s degrees wasn’t always part of the plan.
Jeremy said he came to Delta to simply figure out what he wanted to do.
“I just thought I would get my associate’s degree and it would help out – I didn’t have grander ambitions,” he said. “The professors helped me succeed, and, by the time I was ready to graduate, I felt like I could keep going.”
As she was raising her daughter and working, Christine said the affordable cost of tuition is what initially drew her to Delta.
“When I realized how great the education is here, I didn’t want to leave,” she said. “It was just a really good experience that turned me on to continuing my education.”
Now married, the couple works for Dow. Jeremy is a laboratory technician and Christine is a product developer.
Never too old
Christine and Jeremy both admit that attending Delta later in life was intimidating, but they’re glad they did it.
“I was 31 when I started taking classes full time and I was worried I would be the only one in my 30s,” Christine said. “But I was never the youngest in my class. There were a lot of people in their 30s, 40s and 50s taking classes with me.”
She recalls meeting a woman in her 70s in the Bookstore during her first semester at Delta.
“We got to chatting and she said, ‘I just always have wanted a degree. I’m still alive so it’s not too late, right?’ It was inspiring and it made me realize that I can do college while handling everything else going on in my life,” she said.
"Delta is a game changer because where else can you go to have that catalyst to change your whole outlook on life? If you can make it work, just take that first step and go."
Product developer for Dow
Jeremy, who took a study abroad trip to England one semester, said the flexibility of his class schedules made all the difference.
“My classes just always seemed to fit in my life. I didn’t have conflicts between work and childcare, and I never felt out of place,” he said. “Delta is a great start for a bigger goal, a bigger plan.”
Are you interested in attending Delta for a science-related degree? Get started at delta.edu/programs.