Donovan Scholar Plans New Career

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Deanna Oliver
Deanna Oliver

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The mother of three daughters, whose career most recently included working at the Chapman Printing Co. in Nicholasville, Oliver is also a newlywed. She married Fred Thomas Oliver, who works in the Farmer’s National Bank in Danville, in April 2003. As a Donovan Scholar, Oliver also is working toward a degree in environmental science at Lexington Community College.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 3, 2005) -- Many Kentucky senior citizens take classes in the popular Donovan Scholars Program to enhance their retirement years with education, but Deanna Oliver of Nicholasville says she fully intends to start a new career with the degree she earned in December from the University of Kentucky.

Oliver, 67, who grew up in Louisville, received a Bachelor of Science in consumer science from the UK College of Agriculture as a Donovan Scholar. Donovan Scholars may take classes free at any public institution of higher education in Kentucky. Oliver earned an associate degree in arts from Lexington Community College in 1988, then took some classes while she worked in UK Gatton College of Business and Economics in the 1990s. She said she feels like she has “finished a milestone” getting her baccalaureate degree.

She is the 48th Donovan Scholar who has earned a degree since UK pioneered the program in 1964.

She’s not through with her education, she says. Before embarking on a new career working with people in her church as a chaplain or in a similar professional capacity, Oliver intends to work toward a master’s degree in divinity at The Lexington Theological Seminary starting this spring.

After she gets that degree, she quipped, “I just hope people will think I have enough sense to do a job.” With her new educational background in human ecology, philosophy, and studies in dealing with families in crisis, she hopes that job will be one that allows her to help people overcome problems before they become so severe that they end up in the "system.”

The mother of three daughters, whose career most recently included working at the Chapman Printing Co. in Nicholasville, Oliver is also a newlywed. She married Fred Thomas Oliver, who works in the Farmer’s National Bank in Danville, in April 2003. As a Donovan Scholar, Oliver also is working toward a degree in environmental science at Lexington Community College.

The new UK graduate, who also likes to write music and poetry, said one of the opportunities she enjoyed in the Donovan Scholars Program was participating in a UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging experimental project for teaching senior citizens how to play the piano. In the research program, four groups of students were taught how to play the piano by various techniques “I was taught the normal way,” Oliver reported, “while another group was taught using color keys.”

Oliver praised the Donovan Scholars Program for “the opportunity it gave me to pursue the education and knowledge that I appreciate so much.” Oliver said she “wholeheartedly recommends the Donovan program. I would just like to see more people go for their degrees.”

“I was in a dulcimer class, too,” Oliver added. “There are just lots and lots of things for Donovan Scholars to do.”

For further information about the Donovan Scholars Program at UK, call (859) 257-2656.


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