Heartwarming & Inspiring Elders Who Graduated At A Later Age

Age is just a number, right? Well, these elderly graduates have proved this for themselves. Despite their age being against them, they proved that you’re never too old to get back into the world of education.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of graduating from high school or college, you’ll know that it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. There’s nothing better than donning your cap and gown to collect the thing you’ve been working so hard for, and it makes it seem as though all of the stress, all of the tears, and all of the late nights were worth it. Of course, most people who attend their graduation ceremonies are teenagers and young adults who go through the motions of education and higher education. However, that isn’t always the case.

It’s never too late to grab knowledge and information by the horns, and it seems as though more and more mature students are burying their heads back in their books to obtain the degree they missed out on years ago. They have proven to the world that age really is just a number and that you’re never too old to make your way onto the stage and shake hands with your professors. In fact, it seems as though the older you are, the prouder you make your friends and family…

Making it count

Everyone goes through our own trials and tribulations in life, but there’s no doubt about the fact that some people find themselves in tougher situations more than others.

It’s how you deal with these setbacks that really make a difference – no matter how long it takes you to do that.

After being sent to an internment camp during World War II, this couple managed to experience the sheer relief of being released. However, they were 18 years old when they were finally released, which meant that they missed their high school experience. Finally, just after their 90th birthdays, they managed to don their cap and gown for their graduation ceremony.

A standing ovation

Mature students aren’t uncommon in colleges around the world.

But these older students normally come in the form of middle-aged people who want a change in career, or those who just want to learn something new because they can.

Of course, there are many mature students in this category who make their way to class every single day because they want to prove to others that what may seem impossible is possible after all. This woman proved just that when she made her way onto the stage to obtain her degree, and she received a full standing ovation in the process. With so many people cheering her on, we bet this was one of the best days of her life.

Going through the motions

Most people think that you have to go through the motions to be a functioning human being in this world. After all, you have to graduate high school, graduate college, get married, and then have children, right?

Well, not quite. While there are some people who do follow these motions, there are other people who do things a little differently – and that’s okay!

Despite the fact that this man had a busy life under his belt with five children and even more grandchildren, that didn’t stop him from ticking off something from his to-do list. The best part? He graduated at 70 years old!

Doing it himself

Although there’s no doubt about the fact that college degrees help you obtain the career you’ve always wanted, that doesn’t mean that everyone who heads to college has a long career in mind.

That’s because more and more people seem to be making their way to class to learn about something new and enjoy being back in a classroom again.

That’s exactly what this man did. At 94 years of age, he knew that he wouldn’t be the next big lawyer in the game, but that didn’t stop him from going to college and earning his law degree. He still put in just as much hard work as everyone else in his class.

A Japanese doctor

How happy does this woman look? With that huge smile on her face, it’s hard to believe that she’s 88 years old. What’s so amazing about this woman – besides her smile – is that she actually has a world record under her belt.

Kiyoko Ozeki hails from Japan and decided that her time was not over a few years ago.

While she knew that she could simply sit and home and enjoy her retirement, she also knew that she wanted to push herself and strive for something that nobody had done. After numerous years at college, she became the oldest person in Japan to earn their doctorate degree. Yes, this means we have to call her Dr. Ozeki!

Almost a century

While this may not be the best photo we’ve ever seen, there’s no doubt about the fact that the man in the picture is one of the most iconic men we’ve ever heard of.

That’s because this man was Leo Plass, an Oregon native who decided that he wanted to push himself to the limit towards the end of his life.

After dropping out of college near his graduation date in 1932 because he was offered more money to work in construction rather than teaching, Leo went on to own his own construction business and even remodel houses. However, he couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that he still hadn’t graduated, so that’s exactly what he did in 2014 at 99 years old.

A family affair

You’re never too old to do what you want in this lifetime, which is why you should always grab the bull by the horns and do whatever makes you happy.

That’s exactly what this man did when he made his way back to college after an impressive career and graduated at the age of 71 years old.

While he doesn’t exactly look too happy in this photograph, we bet that he is internally beaming with pride that he finally got to don his own and share the day with his two sons. In fact, the man’s wife was so happy on the day that she just couldn’t stop taking photographs of her “boys.”

Dare to dream

Sometimes it’s the people who take the most risks in life that are the ones who succeed, and it seems as though this woman knows this for herself.

While we can imagine that many people told her to ignore her dreams of going to college and obtaining a degree for herself, she decided to do it anyway.

She graduated at the ripe age of 87 years old, and she beamed in the process. Her risk paid off, and it became even more special when her children and grandchildren were able to watch her graduate with their own beaming smiles on their faces. That’s something most grandparents don’t get to do in front of their loved ones.

A new home

The world is full of people who move from country to country and set up a new life for themselves in a place that’s far away from home.

That’s exactly what this 62-year-old did when she moved away from her own country to embark on a new journey and a new adventure.

While she didn’t know the language and didn’t know much about the country around her, there was no doubt about the fact that she was going to make the most of her situation. She didn’t care how long it was going to take her, because she was going to graduate from college whether she liked it or not. Thankfully, that day finally came.

Something comes up

Life can deal you some pretty tough cards sometimes, but it’s those people who rise above these things and don’t let their situation get the better of them that normally come out on top.

Theresia Blandl had to leave high school when she was 15 years old to become the primary carer for her sick mother.

Her days were spent being much older than her time while her school friends educated themselves and graduated with their diploma under their belts. Theresia always wanted to go back to high school and graduate herself, and that’s exactly what she did when she was 105 years old! She was surrounded by all of her friends and family at the time.

Watching the world

If you’ve ever known a retiree, you’ll know that many of them struggle to simply sit around and do nothing after working so hard for most of their lives.

Because of this, many take up hobbies or attend social events that will keep them entertained. However, Lis Kirkby decided to do things a little differently.

After retiring and watching the world go by, she soon realized that governments around the world were making a few mistakes. So, she headed to the University of Sydney and decided to obtain her Ph.D. at 93 years of age in the hope that people would listen to her. Well, there’s no doubt about the fact that her achievement flabbergasted the masses.

The same, but different

Many older people think that their life comes to an end when they have kids, but that just isn’t the case.

While parents know that they need to look after their children, often the children themselves can become an inspiration and push their parents to do what they have always wanted.

When this man’s son decided to head to college and obtain his bachelor’s degree, he wondered whether he had it in him at the same time. Before too long, they were studying in the same classes, and they were graduating on the same day with the same degree under their belts. At the time, they were 51 and 25 years old!

Better late than never

Many grandparents across the world didn’t have the chance to graduate from high school due to their personal circumstances, the state of the world back in the day, and various other reasons.

While many of these people simply go about their lives without worrying too much about the lack of a diploma, there are others who can’t live with the idea that they never got to graduate.

So, when this 73-year-old grandmother made her way into the world of retirement, she knew that she needed to use her free time to get back into education and do everything she could to graduate. In the end, she did just that.

Doing his bit

During the 1940s, men in high schools across the world cut their education short when they dropped out to join the military and the war efforts.

That’s exactly what Donald Doll did just before his own graduation in 1945. While he was almost on the way to earning his diploma, a stint in the Navy cut this short and didn’t give him the chance to don his cap and gown.

While this didn’t stop him from living a fruitful life full of success, he always knew that one day he wanted to make his way back into the realm of education and graduate once and for all. He finally did so at the ripe age of 91 years old.

Doing it together

There’s nothing better than doing things as a family.

And it seems as though more and more people are choosing to head to college with their moms and dads or other family members who want to be given the same chances as the youngsters of today.

Although she already had a career under her belt, this mom wanted to join her daughter as she headed off to college and earned her degree. So, she did exactly that. They not only went to college at the same time, but they were also able to graduate at the same time. This was a hugely proud day for grandma.

A dream come true

While most people see their grandparents as the people who have already had their chance to work and do what they want to do in their lives, it seems as though the people of this world never stop dreaming or striving for more.

This can be seen within the story of Doreetha Daniels.

This woman made her way back into the realm of college in her 90s, and she was never sorry for getting to the party a little late. She was contending with different priorities when she was younger, and her college graduation just after her 99th birthday was the perfect time for her. Indeed, she noted that it was a “dream come true.”

Making more time

After raising children and watching them grow up, many parents choose to spend more time on themselves and the things that they want in their lives.

After all, they no longer have to give their kids constant care and attention, and many parents have more free time on their hands.

Instead of relaxing during this free time, 56-year-old Mdm Choo Siew Eng decided to bury her head back in the books and head back to college to obtain her degree. She graduated from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and she seemed pretty happy about her achievements. In fact, her children were even more proud of her achievements.

Working your way up

Many people go about their lives with dreams of working their way up the career ladder and making the most out of their lives.

While people often focus on getting there as quickly as possible, there’s no doubt about the fact that the journey is often what defines you as a person.

While this man spent most of his life selling fruit and earning an honest wage for himself and his family, he decided that in his 9th decade that he finally wanted to take the plunge. So, he headed to college with aims of achieving his doctorate, and that’s exactly what he did when he graduated at 97 years old. You’re never too late to work your way up.

Rose amongst thorns

Many people think of young adults just out of their teenage years when they think of college students, but it seems as though the odd ones out are normally the ones that make the most impact.

While most college students stare at the mature students as they make their way through the corridor and put their hand up in class…

It’s these people who really show everyone what hard work is all about. After working for much of his life, this 72-year-old grandfather decided that it was time to focus on what he wanted to achieve – and he did just that when he graduated from college!

A cool grandma

Grandparents are often stigmatized for being boring and uncool, but there’s no doubt about the fact that the world is full of amazing grandparents who want nothing more than to feel on top of the world.

While everyone has their own way of doing this, this grandmother knew that the only way she would feel fulfilled in her life was to head to college and earn her degree.

Donning her cap and gown for her graduation ceremony in 1991 was one of the proudest days of her life, and that was saying a lot considering she was 72 years old at the time. These people just prove that age really is just a number.