Augusta University graduate earns degree on her 80th birthday
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Theodosia Williams was among the Augusta University students earning their degrees Friday, but she’s not the typical graduate.
In addition to being graduation day, it was her 80th birthday. So with a graduation cap bearing the words “It’s Never Too Late to Learn,” she was at the ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday to get her degree.
WATCH HER GRADUATE:
Her degree in art is something she’s spent a lifetime fighting to get. It took her more than 50 years to get to this point. She says the road to education has never been easy.
“It was hard back in the ‘50s, and there were a lot of pitfalls,” she said.
Williams left high school in Brooklyn, New York, without a diploma, started a family, joined the military, and 13 years later began knocking on the door to education. But this time for her GED.
“I could do everything anybody else could do. And I knew it. I just didn’t have the opportunity to do it. But I knew I could,” she said.
While she has a thirst for education, her family came first.
“I didn’t want my children to live like me. I grew up in the ghetto. But I was never poor. I was broke. My parents were broke,” said Williams.
Once she knew everyone was OK, education was back in the picture. This time she set her eyes on a degree in art.
“I still have great cells. You know what I mean? I still got great cells. They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Woof-woof,” said Williams.
She says her journey may be a long one but she wouldn’t change a thing.
“I would want to go through it the same way I did. Because it’s got me here,” said Williams. “I’m just the happiest woman in the world. I got a husband. I got successful children, successful grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are on the road to success.”
It’s never too late to learn.
“I hope my mother and father can look down and be proud of me. They knew I could do it, but they didn’t know how to help,” said Williams.
Williams says she may have her degree, but she is already registered to return to AU in the fall. Not for another degree but to continue taking classes and learning.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.