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Thursday, July 25, 2024

75-year-old woman graduates US university 57 years after dropping out, achieves dream

A 75-year-old woman named Rebecca Inge has achieved her dream of completing her university education 57 years after she dropped out. She graduated from Shaw University, in the United States. .

Rebecca, from Raleigh, North Carolina, graduated from Shaw University, a Historically Black Colleges and University. She made history as on the the oldest graduate in her class and in the institutiion.

She stated that she started her college education at the same Shaw University in 1965 after she left home. Rebecca said she worked in the college’s cafeteria to support her own financial needs while studying.

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“It feels wonderful to finally achieve a goal I have been wanting for so many years. It’s taken me over 50 years to finally get back to my school, Shaw University, the school I love,” she said.


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“I always dreamed of going to med school because I was sick a lot as a child. I dreamed of being a surgeon,” she said. Rebecca told WRAL that she had to put her dreams on hold when she got married and gave birth to her daughter.

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She dropped out of school and returned to her hometown in Florida without a degree. She worked different careers such as a bank teller, working in fire and safety prevention at Walt Disney World, and in real estate while being a full-time mother till her father died.

Rebecca’s daughter, Marisa Ratliff Dunston who is a retired U.S. military officer said her mother sacrificed a lot for her family. “She put her life on hold so that I could finish my 21 years, all of my education so that I could be successful today,” Marisa said.



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“I am my mother’s only child. All of my kids were born overseas and my mother was there to help. Now it was time for me to support her,” she added. Rebecca decided to continue pursuing her college degree by re-enrolling at Shaw University.

She graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in  Religion and Philosophy. Rebecca mentioned that she faced some challenges due to the huge year gap but was able to pull through with the help of her daughter.

Rebecca said she is excited to finally fulfill her dream of owning a degree. “You gotta live ’til you die, so why not be happy doing something that makes you happy and get involved,” she said.

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