Lynn Walker is a Vanguard University student who is graduating from the School for Professional Studies (SPS) program on May 6, but this is only a small portion of her life, as she has a story unlike any other. At Vanguard, Walker is more than just a student, she is a collegiate athlete, a friend to many, and an inspiration to the entire community.
Walker, 50, was born in Camden, New Jersey as an only child and has been playing tennis since the age of 12, which led to her eventually being a four-year #1 singles player at Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderhill, Florida. However, during her senior year, Walker’s father died and she made the tough decision to put her dream of college on hold. After her mother passed away several years later, Walker went through a period of self-reflection where she came to the realization that she was missing something dear to her: a college degree. She decided to go to Santiago Canyon College in Orange from 2006-2008, and then eventually decided to pursue her Bachelor’s degree at Vanguard University.
While at Vanguard, Walker talked to tennis coach Mattias Johansson and eventually earned a spot on the highly successful and nationally recognized women’s tennis team. She was thrilled to receive the opportunity to play tennis as a 50-year-old student-athlete, where she was quite successful on the court, while in conjunction with fulfilling her dream of receiving a college degree. However, her story was about to take an even more dramatic turn.
Walker was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer during her time at Vanguard that brought her world crashing down. She was told she had a 30% chance of losing her leg due to a tumor that had grown inside and things were not looking good.
Due to only what can only be described as a miracle, Walker survived the surgery to remove the tumor with both legs in tact, and was told a short while later that she was cancer-free. To add to it all, she came to find out from doctors that the large tumor in her leg had been there for several years, not just a short amount of time. “The realization that I played college tennis at my age, with a giant tumor in my calf, is an absolute testament to God’s grace.” says Walker.
All of this leads to this week, which will consist of all of Vanguard University’s commencement ceremonies. Walker, an SPS student, will be graduating on Friday, May 6, and will also attend Baccalaureate to spend time and make memories with the many friends she has accumulated through her time at Vanguard, especially her friends from the tennis team. When Vanguard found out Ms. Walker was currently in a wheelchair and unable to drive, they found her a driver so that she could attend both Baccalaureate and her SPS commencement.
“What Vanguard is doing not only promotes the integrity and character of the Vanguard administration, it, most importantly, glorifies God,” says Walker.
Vanguard is not only proud to call Lynn Walker an alum, but an inspiration to the entire community.
For further information on Vanguard University commencement, please visit here.