94-Year-Old Surprised With Graduation Ceremony After Earning College Degree With Perfect GPA
You're never too old to follow your dreams — just ask 94-year-old Amy Craton, who just graduated college with a 4.0 GPA.
Craton, of Hawaii, was awarded her Bachelor degree in creative writing and English in a surprise ceremony held in Honolulu after taking two-and-a-half years of online courses from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
"I'm trying to live my life to the fullest," Craton said, in a video provided by SNHU. "As long as I get good grades, I'll be happy."
After only corresponding via email, over the phone, or video conference, Craton's advisors, professors and other faculty flew from New Hampshire to Honolulu to hand deliver her diploma, since she was unable to travel for her commencement last spring.
"It's been really fun, because this story has touched people," SNHU's President Paul LeBlanc told InsideEdition.com.
Craton had first started going to college in 1962, but had to put her education on hold when she and her husband got a divorce, and she was left to take care of their four kids.
More than 50 years later, the grandmother decided it was time to go back to school, despite being hard of hearing and confined to a wheelchair.
"I couldn't see just sitting there all the time, watching Netflix," she said. "There's nothing on TV and I don't watch soaps."
Craton enrolled an online degree at SNHU and kept up with her courses by staying ahead of new technology.
"I think we were all a little surprised," LeBlanc said. "For someone to go back to school in their 90s and handle new technology, [that can] be a little surprising, but given what we understand about Amy, it's probably not a surprise in her case."
She has even had to stay up late into the night, or be up early in the morning to turn in assignments online, since Honolulu is 5 hours behind.
Despite not having official records, LeBlanc said he believes Craton is their school's oldest graduate, and may even be the oldest student in the country. He included that their online program is geared toward older students looking to pursue a degree from a distance, but "we don't recall anybody in their 90s," LeBlanc said.
"But, I feel like I'm still on the road," Cranton said. "I have more to learn."
Following her graduation from the school's Bachelor's program last year, Craton is currently pursuing her Master's degree in creative writing and English. She said she hopes to spend more time writing poetry and becoming a children's author during the graduate program, which she is expected to complete in two or three years.
"If you're at home, pick up a book and read," she recommended. "Any kind of book. Expand yourself. Expand your knowledge. Expand your life."