Older Grad Says "You're Never Too Old to Learn"

By: Todd Corillo Email
By: Todd Corillo Email

Mary Baldwin College in Staunton celebrated its 169th Commencement Sunday, awarding 373 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The day was specially remarkable for 80-year-old Alice Colvin.

Colvin, a mother of three, grandmother of three and great-grandmother of six, received her bachelor's degree in history.

Her advice to her fellow students: "Just stay with it and keep at it. You're never too old to learn."

Her decision to return to school and earn her degree was rooted in a desire to do something more with her life.

"I just felt like I should be doing something different and so I just decided to go back to school. And it has taken me 16 years, but I think it's worth it," explains Colvin.

When she rose from her wheelchair to accept her degree, the crowd leapt to its feet, giving Colvin a huge standing ovation.

Returning to the classroom after so many years away wasn't the easiest task for Colvin.

She comments, "It was hard getting back into the studying, because it had been so long and I had to fight with the computer for a while."

Colvin says one of her most memorable and favorite parts of earning her degree was her final paper.

"I kind of liked my senior paper that I had to write. I was born during the Depression in 1930, so I kind of wrote a history on my growing up years during that time," explains Colvin.

With her degree now under her belt, Colvin says she's most looking forward to the chance to read for pleasure, not for school.

She says, "Oh I just want to read something that I don't have to read for a while."

On the other side of the spectrum, the youngest graduate at Mary Baldwin Sunday was just 16 years old.

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