Age is just a number to 77-year-old Laurel Ridge student


At 77, Rosemarie “Rodie” Zubrack isn’t your typical college student. But, she takes pursuing her education at Laurel Ridge very seriously.

This semester, she is taking American literature and biology. She has been taking two classes a semester for the past couple of years.

“I love it,” Zubrack said of her time at Laurel Ridge. “Everyone is extremely helpful. Everyone is so friendly. I think the support staff is wonderful. Karen Goulbourne in the financial aid office has helped me so much.”

Originally from New Jersey, where she earned an accounting degree from a community college, Zubrack moved to Virginia in 1986, and worked as a consultant. She lives in Winchester.

“One morning, I woke up and I told myself I’m really not doing anything with my life, so I decided I wanted to start doing things,” she said.

So, Zubrack started doing volunteer work and crafts – and registered for college. She doesn’t drive anymore, so she has always taken her Laurel Ridge classes online. Therefore, the college’s switch to online-only classes at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t faze her.

“I will keep going as long as I can get financial aid,” Zubrack said. “I plan to transfer to a four-year college. I want to take more history classes, and I’ve taken just about every history course I can at Laurel Ridge. I would love to probably go on and get a history degree.

“History is my very, very favorite subject. I would love to work at a museum, but I know I probably wouldn’t get hired – but I don’t know why not – just because I’m old. I probably would enjoy volunteering at a museum, though.”