Kathryn Reinhart has seen a lot of changes at Lorain County Community College since she first registered for classes 33 years ago.

On May 5, Reinhart will see the campus through the eyes of a graduate as she earns an Associate of Arts degree.

Reinhart, 53, first enrolled at LCCC in the summer of 1979 and planned to earn a degree in business. She attended classes through the fall of 1981.

“Then I took a 15-year break as the ups and downs of life got in the way, but finishing my degree was always in the back of my mind,” said Reinhart, who lives in Elyria.

In the meantime, she also continued her career. She has worked at Lorain National Bank for more than 20 years.

She returned to LCCC in 1996 and attended through 1998. After an eight-year break from classes, she returned to campus in 2006 with a new outlook.

“I sat down and looked at all the courses I’ve taken in business. Even though I am good at business, I realized it’s not something I enjoy. I decided to work toward an Associate of Arts degree,” she said.

She chugged along with her new plan through 2008, when personal reasons forced her to take a break from schooling. She returned to LCCC for the final time in 2011 and is looking forward to finishing up her final class in May.

To keep herself motivated through her final semester, Reinhart taped to her desk a photocopy of her graduation application.

“When I’m tempted to do other things, I look at that and it helps me get through this last course,” she said. “Perseverance and hard work has kept me going. Knowledge is a very powerful tool in life and I know that I’m a more well-rounded person because of my courses at LCCC.”

Her hard work has paid off and she is proud to graduate with a 3.64 grade point average.

After three decades as an LCCC student, Reinhart said she is looking forward to crossing the stage at Commencement.

“I’m going to march across that stage. I may even do a little dance because it’s been a long 33 years,” she said.