Grad completes degree 681 miles away

Annalise Bruer completed her UT Martin degree despite living 681 miles from the main campus. The South Fulton native began her college career at UT Martin in fall 2018 in person but took a break in spring 2019 to have her first baby. She immediately began online summer classes in 2019 while continuing to care for her newborn.

“I never lost motivation because college was always my plan. I didn’t know any different,” she said.

Bruer’s husband, a United States Marine, was stationed in Japan during their child’s first year of life. She continued online classes in South Fulton until her husband got stationed in Beaufort, South Carolina. While she knew having a small child, moving away from family, having a husband in the military and going to school full-time would be a challenge, Bruer kept her eyes on her diploma. “I never lost motivation because college was always my plan. I didn’t know any different,” she said.

Working out has always been passion of Bruer’s, so she chose marketing hoping to be a fitness trainer and use her marketing skills to obtain clients. Once she started taking business classes, she realized she also had a passion for real estate. Her ultimate goal is to become a real estate investor for resort properties. Until she gains the experience and knowledge to do that, she plans to get her real estate license and begin working.

Bruer chose UT Martin because it was the best option for her since it was close to home and convenient. She said, “UT Martin turned out really good for me having a baby and my husband being in the military.” Bruer attributes her easy transition from in-person to online classes to the faculty and staff at UT Martin. “They helped me out so much and they didn’t even have to do that,” said Bruer.

“I get so emotional thinking about crossing the commencement stage because it has been such hard journey. I have worked harder for this degree than anything else in my life,” said Bruer.

She wants all busy mothers and wives to know that they, too, can obtain a degree online. Bruer never expected to have the determination to complete her degree, but she mentioned that the workload was never too demanding to discourage her. She says she hopes she can inspire others to complete their degree. “A lot of times, we’re much more capable than we believe,” Bruer said.

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