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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

68-year-old grandmother and her granddaughter graduate from same US university on the same day, sets record

68-year-old, Theresa Lyles and her granddaughter Zuri Lyles both graduated from Tennessee State University in the United States on the same day.

Theresa and Zuri who is also 22-year-old walked across the stage to accept their degrees during the Tennessee State University graduation Theresa bagged her bachelor’s degree in Sociology, while Zuri received a bachelor’s degree in Health Information management and a minor in business.

”I never contemplated this knew that when I started back then that I would be graduating at the same time as she did. Nobody but God,” Theresa said.

Theresa, a grandmother of 15, initially enrolled in the same university in 1967 but dropped out in 1970 to raise her family.  She decided to return back to school without knowing she earned enough credits back then to put her close to graduating until her academic advisers told her.

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A few months into her schooling, alongside Zuri, tragedy hit their family. Theresa lost her middle daughter, Zuri’s mother.  “That hit us so hard that I almost dropped out because I was struggling and my grandmother went through a depression,” Zuri said.

“But we kept encouraging each other. Through it all, we started working harder and did everything we needed to get the job done,” she added. Zuri mentioned that she has been offered a job with St. Thomas General as an information systems analyst.

She stated that she plans to attend graduate school and get a degree in physical therapy while Theresa will continue to help with raising her grandchildren.




“I always wanted to come back, but just never had the chance to do it. I am glad I did, and it’s even better that I am doing it with my granddaughter. We encouraged each other. It was tough, but we had to tunnel through,” Theresa said.

Theresa and her granddaughter’s accomplishment is a historic first for Tennessee State University. This is the first time in the university’s more than 100-year history that a grandmother and a granddaughter will be graduating simultaneously.


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