OKC Grandmother Receives Honorary Business Degree

Even with severe health challenges Jordan Cowan never backed down from a challenge, and he definitely wasn’t backing down from attending college. Mrs. Wilma was there, taking notes, ultimately helping Jordan graduate with a business degree.

Thursday, May 16th 2024, 6:16 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover


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Even with severe health challenges Jordan Cowan never backed down from a challenge, and he definitely wasn’t backing down from attending college.

“He was diagnosed when he was two years old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” said Beverly Cowan, Jordan’s mother.

It’s a neuromuscular disease that would challenge his ability to go to attend college. “Realized kind of at the beginning of his college career that physically he was losing the ability to use his hands,” said Cowan.

After being accepted into UCO, the search for help began for someone who could help Jordan. “They talked about it and decided that Grandmother would be the one they would ask,” said Wilma Hamilton, Jordan’s grandmother.

For Mrs. Wilma, it was never a question. “I had this strong feeling that I was to support my grandchildren, so when she asked me that I was like yeah, I want to try,” said Hamilton.

The commitment was big, but never outweighed a grandmother’s love. “Never missed a class, rain, sleet, snow,” said Cowan.

Mrs. Wilma was there, taking notes, ultimately helping Jordan graduate with a business degree. “Our faith has helped us get through so many things and Jordan’s faith helped him get through school,” said Cowan.

It was Jordan’s last big accomplishment, before passing away almost a year ago. But then there was the phone call from the UCO president Todd Lamb. “I said, let’s honor Wilma, grandma in some way,” said Lamb.

The recognition was beyond anything they ever imagined. “What you did for your grandson Jordan, who we are proud to call a broncho, we say to Wilma, you’re a broncho too and we are going to give you an honorary degree,” said Lamb. 

“Why would they do that for me?” said Hamilton.

At last weekend’s graduation, Mrs. Wilma was called to the stage for an extra special recognition and received her honorary business degree. “It was just amazing. It was, I can’t even use words to describe the feeling I had,” said Hamilton. 

As she received her honorary business degree on stage with thousands of people watching, there was a private conversation taking place. “I said, do you have any openings?” said Hamilton.

Mrs. Wilma is so honored by the recognition, but for her, it is simply what family does for each other.

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