Sunday, May 16, 2010

You go, girls! Older grads keep green and growing


Hazel Soares, 94
Mills College

Oakland, CA -- Among the students graduating this year is a 94-year-old who also received her diploma from Mills College. It's a liberal arts school in California.

Hazel Soares received a degree in Art History. She is believed to be the world's second oldest person to graduate from college.

"The ones that are 50 or 60 years old, if they wanted to get back to college, take one course at a time and they'll get where they are today," says Soares.

Soares started taking courses in the 1980's and enrolled at Mills in 2007.

Now that she has her degree, she hopes to get a job as a lecturer at a museum.

From and the Detroit Free Press

Nola Ochs, 98
Ft. Hays State University

Nola Ochs was to receive her master’s degree from Ft. Hays State University on Saturday.

The Jetmore, Kan., woman set a short-lived record in 2007, when she graduated from Ft. Hays with a bachelor’s degree. A 96-year-old man in Taiwan broke the record last year.

Undaunted, Ochs hit the books and will now collect a master’s in liberal studies with a history concentration.

Ochs said she intends to apply for a graduate teaching slot in Ft. Hays’ history department for next spring.


Teresa Mahony, 79
University of Rhode Island

A 79-year-old Rhode Island woman says she is only days away from achieving her dream of obtaining a degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Teresa Mahony of Warwick, a mother of 12 and grandmother of 34, said she is scheduled to graduate May 23, only two weeks before her 80th birthday, the Providence Journal reported Monday.

"I really believe that there's a time for everything," Mahony said. "God has his plans, but you've got to make things happen too. You've got to keep your eyes open and watch for opportunities."

Mahoney said she enrolled at the university's Feinstein College of Continuing Education in 2000 with a major in history.

She said her whole family is coming out to see her receive a bachelor's degree.

"All the children (ages 40 to 56) and their children will be there -- we're going to have a blast," she said. "I always wanted to go to college. I knew it would happen sometime."

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