SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Saturday, a retired couple mark off a major milestone, as they walk the stage together, earning their degrees from Sac State.

College was always on their bucket list.

Debra and Charles Beckham enjoyed successful careers in the technology field.

Charles was a V.P at Sun Microsystems before launching his own startup.

But both felt something missing.

“For a long time it was on our bucket list,” says Charles.

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Charles hadn’t even finished high school.

“For me, it was my dirty little secret that I didn’t have a college degree,” says Debra Beckham. “So, it was important to me.”

Together, the Beckhams retired and went to college for twin business degrees.

And now they’re seniors; senior seniors.

The couple says when they first arrived here at sac state they fit right in. Kind of.

“Sometimes walking around campus you can tell they think we’re part of the faculty or the administration,” says Charles. “They’re often quite surprised to find out that, like them, we’re students making this journey together.”

The novelty passes quickly.

In Marketing 181 the Beckhams find other students asking for their help in group projects.

“I don’t even consider them like an older couple,” says student Erin Brown. “I just consider them like classmates.”

“I was able to add them both, which is great because they’re kind of a package deal,” says Deanna Daly of the CSUS College of Business. “And they’ve added a richness to the class that can’t be duplicated by me or anybody else.”

Debra Beckham notes, “Yeah, there’s a lot of people who feel like it’s a special thing to do at our age, in our sixties.”

The Beckhams will pursue volunteer work after graduation.

Clearly, they didn’t need a college degree.

It’s just something they wanted to cross off their bucket list.

“It’s definitely not too late. It’s never too late. For all of the good things, it’s never too late,” says Charles.

The Beckhams attended college graduations for their four adult children who are now in their late thirties and forties.

The couple says their kids, along with six grandkids, will be in the audience at Golden 1 Center to watch them walk the stage.


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