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Gertrude “Trudy” Murdock '16

Alumni Success Story

Gertrude “Trudy” Murdock '16

Trudy MurdockGertrude “Trudy” Murdock believes in finishing what she starts, even if it takes more than four decades to get the job done. At age 81, she earned her associate’s degree in May 2016, 44 years after first enrolling at the College.

Murdock’s intention back in 1972 was to pursue a Nursing degree but, with three children ages 10 to 16, a full-time banking job and a sick mother to care for, she put the academic plans on hold until 2011, when she found that her college credits remained intact. She had just endured a bout with cancer and subsequent chemotherapy, and thought resuming her education would re-engage her mind in a productive and enjoyable pursuit of learning for learning’s sake.

“It was a challenge, but when I do something, I want to do it right, not half a job,” said Murdock, who earned an AA in Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Science, graduating with a 3.4 GPA. “I knew it was not leading to a career, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.”

Murdock and her sister, Irene Thomas, had taken some night classes at RCC in the late 1970s, her last formal education before committing herself to degree completion in 2011.

Born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, she moved to Rockland in 1955 with her newlywed husband, John, a Spring Valley native. She worked in the banking industry for 40 years, retiring as a district manager overseeing five branches. The Murdocks, of New Hempstead, have two children, Kenneth and Linda, and two grown grandchildren. Another son, Thomas, died in 2005 at age 49.


The story of an 81-year-old graduate was so inspiring that numerous media outlets came to RCC to interview Gertrude Murdock. You can view some of these stories below:

ABC Eyewitness News:

Journal News/


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