As names were called during the 2012 May Commencement ceremony, Lorna Sobilo ’12 crossed the stage to receive her long sought after bachelor’s degree in music. A few hours later, her name was again called as she accepted a degree earned through the Adult Studies program.
Sobilo started her education in Trinity’s music program on a part-time basis in 1983. After presenting her sophomore recital, she decided to put her education on hold to start a family. For the next two decades, Sobilo stayed home with her children, Lisa, Jonathan, and Catherine. She also worked as an administrative assistant for her husband Larry’s computer consulting business.
But in 2003, Larry was diagnosed with cancer, and Sobilo said the next five years were full of challenges for their family. Five years later, his treatments not enough to turn the tide, Larry passed away. Sobilo spent a year trying to determine her next step, and in September 2009, she returned to Trinity, enrolling in the Adult Studies Business program.
“It’s challenging to do a three-credit course in six sessions,” Sobilo said. “Our job was to learn the information and then begin to apply it rather than just to spit back facts. That was good training for the business environment. It built confidence that I could learn something quickly, understand it deeply, and apply it effectively.”
On January 20, 2011, walking across campus on the first day of the spring semester, Sobilo said she had an “ah-ha” moment. “‘Why didn’t I finish my music degree?’ I had been putting off the gen ed courses, but now I had those completed.”
With help from the registrar’s office and Dr. Mark Peters, professor of music, Sobilo was a registered student in both the Adult Studies and traditional programs within the week. “I had this in my heart for so long, and I didn’t give up even when it looked like it wasn’t going to happen,” she said.
As she finished her journey with her adult studies cohort, she resumed her journey toward a music degree. For her senior recital, Sobilo was required to sing for 45 minutes in four languages. “It was like doing the classes in adult studies—it was very fast-forward. I ended up doing 17 songs in five languages plus English,” she said.
Years prior, after she had performed her sophomore recital, she and Larry bought music in anticipation of her senior recital—a book by Chopin in Polish to honor Larry’s heritage and one by Bach. She was able to use both in her 2012 recital.
“My program was really connected with my own love of singing and my own purpose for singing and that is to glorify God,” said Sobilo.