SPC’s oldest living graduate celebrates 109th birthday this week

May 16, 2022

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At 109-years-old, Gertha Lockett Murphy is the St. Philip’s College and Alamo Colleges District (ACD) oldest-living alumni. Murphy was born on May 20, 1913, in Goodwill, Texas, a small community in Washington County. She is the daughter of late farmers and the granddaughter of a former U.S. slave. Murphy graduated from St. Philip’s in 1936 and worked in civil service for 27 years at Kelly Air Force Base. At the age of 60, she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of the Incarnate Word.

In 2019, the college honored and celebrated Murphy with a 106th birthday bash hosted by SPC President Dr. Adena Williams Loston. ACD Chancellor Mike Flores, SPC employees and Murphy’s loved ones attended the event. In 2020, more than 100 cars participated in a car parade to wish her happy birthday. The car parade included the San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

Murphy is active at the college and never misses homecoming festivities. She has met every one of the college’s presidents, including President Emeritus Artemisia Bowden. During an interview in 2019, Murphy expressed her biggest life lessons: do the right thing, mind your own business, pray a lot, and be kind to people. 

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