When Rob Alway received his Grand Valley diploma in the mail, it meant more to him than something to display in an office. Alway's diploma represented a completion of a 30-year-journey.
Now the owner/editor-in-chief of the Mason County Press and Oceana County Press, Alway was like countless other people who dropped out of college in favor of taking a full-time job. Having two young daughters at home spurred him to resume a path to a bachelor's degree in communications, he said.
"I run a successful business and have had a career in journalism, but I wanted to show our children that you should finish what you start," he said. "That's a lesson my dad taught to me."
The lifelong Mason County resident earned an associate degree from West Shore Community College in 1991 and transferred to Grand Valley. Soon after, Alway's part-time job at the Ludington Daily News expanded to full-time. And like many others, life happened to him. Alway got married and by 2010 was teaching photography courses at WSCC as an adjunct instructor when his wife, Becky, urged him to reenroll at Grand Valley.
"I did. I was taking some courses at West Shore and some at GVSU, then in 2013 my oldest daughter was born," he said.
View more photos of Alway, his family and their family farm on this Exposure site .