As a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto, Adams enjoyed a long career in fashion and design, which allowed her to travel the world. However, after retiring in 2012, she wasn’t ready to stop. “I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life,” says Adams. “I wanted something to do — I needed something challenging.”
That challenge came by way of Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts. Painting had been Adams’s hobby for the past 15 years, yet as she approached her retirement she realized she wanted to turn that hobby into a BFA.
“I was floundering,” Adams says. “I didn’t know how to further what I was doing and I needed professional guidance.”
Once admitted into Studio Arts as a mature student, she was guided to switch from the painting and drawing program to sculpture — a more natural fit.
A push in the right direction
When Adams received the William Schiff Scholarship, it was the morale boost she needed.
“When I began my studies, I was intimidated because I had been out of school for so long,” she says.
“I was always judging whether or not I could do this — whether or not I had the stamina — but the scholarship gave me confidence.”
Established in 1988, the William Schiff Scholarship is funded by mature students for mature students over the age of 55. With additional support from generous donors, the benefit of attending university this time around is that Adams can do it on her own terms, on her own time.
Though she had initial difficulties adapting to packed lecture halls and exams, the positive reinforcement Adams received from her professors and younger students, coupled with the added funding, helped her to quickly find her niche.
“This is my new job,” she says. “I have a different perspective from the young students who are looking to finish school and find work. I worked to go back to school. I can enjoy it and take my time as I prepare to apply for a master’s degree.”