FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Graduations should always be celebrated. For Elaine Smith, 77, and Nancy Allen, 80, graduation is an especially big deal.
“It was on my bucket list,” says Allen. “It had been sitting there forever.” She will graduate from Huntingdon College Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
Smith graduates Saturday from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in diversified studies focusing on literature, art and society. “The journey couldn’t have been any better,” she says.
Going back to school was personal for Smith. After her mother died of Alzheimer’s in 2011 she wanted to do something to help keep her mind sharp. After a conversation with her granddaughter going back to school seemed perfect. “I wanted to make sure that my mind learns something new every day and by the time I was finished my mind was saying please stop, I now enough,” she laughs.
For Allen, work and life side-tracked her college career after two years but it always felt like unfinished business, “and I said you know what before I die, I’m going to be 80 if I do this and I am, I have to do it now or it’s never going to get done.”
Both ladies took their courses online and will meet their classmates, teachers and advisors for the first time in person when they walk across the stage to get their diplomas. “It will be a culmination of a dream come true and I wouldn’t miss that for anything,” says Smith.
“I hate the caps they make you look really ugly,” says Allen but those caps and gowns are symbols of an amazing accomplishment and the people wearing them are an inspiration to all.