UNA Athletics employee pursues degree

Flowers Hall Administrative Assistant Peggy Wingo completes paperwork for UNA Athletics in her Flowers Hall office April 6. Wingo is a full-time worker in the athletics department, but also is working on finishing her accounting degree.

Peggy Wingo is a full-time staff member, part-time student by day and a full-time wife, mother and grandmother by night.

Wingo, the Flowers Hall administrative assistant and a senior majoring in accounting, decided she wanted to finish her degree, even if she does not need it.

“I’m not going to use (the degree),” Wingo said. “I did it for myself. Years ago, when I first started (working for athletics), students would ask me, ‘Mrs. Peggy, what is your degree in?’ How can I tell students to work hard on their degree when I’ve never experienced being in college?”

Wingo said although accounting interests her, she plans to spend the rest of her career working for the UNA Athletics Department.

“I love working for the athletics department,” Wingo said. “I want to stay with the athletics department. I did (the major) because I like accounting work. I love working with numbers.”

Juggling her job in athletics and her student life is difficult, but Wingo said she is grateful to the people who help her along the way.

“My family has been awesome and encouraging,” she said. “So are all of the people (at the university). They tell me, ‘You can do it,’ and they’re all kind because they know what goes into (earning a degree).”

Wingo’s coworkers notice her hard work, said Hal Self Field House Administrative Assistant Jacinta Mastin, who works with Wingo daily.

“We have a really nice friendship here,” Mastin said. “Going back to school shows the determination in her. As an older person, when you go back to school, you have a lot on you. She gets up at 5:30 a.m. to study, and I commend her for that.”

Wingo brings a positive and productive vibe to the workplace, said UNA Athletics broadcast and video coordinator Eddy Forsythe.

“She is a very sweet lady,” Forsythe said. “She’s a hard worker and one of the nicest people I know.”

In the classroom, Wingo’s positive attitude carries over from work to school, said senior Faith Coogler.

“You can ask anyone that’s in class with us, everyone looks up to her,” Coogler said. “She works so hard. She goes straight to work, then to class. She’s one of those people that will stay up until 10 o’clock at night studying with us in the Commons, then will wake up at 5 o’clock to study before work.”

Coogler said she looks up to Wingo because of her determination to succeed at her job and in the classroom.

“We don’t hang out much outside of class because of work and class in our lives, but she’s fantastic,” she said. “I really respect her, and I hope I’m that strong when I’m at that point where I’m working and have grandkids and kids.”

After being around scholars, Wingo said she does not see herself any different, but has a newfound respect for students.

“I have a new admiration for people that go to college,” she said. “I know I’m not the only person that works and goes to school. I’ve met a lot of nice people I have class with, and basically all of them work just as much as I do.”

Wingo said she plans to graduate from UNA next December.