89-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Fulfills Life-long Dream, Graduates With Master's Degree

89-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Fulfills Life-long Dream, Graduates With Master's Degree

It has always been a dream of Joan Donovan's to graduate with her master's degree, and at 89 years old, she didn't let her age get in the way of achieving her goals.

The great-grandmother from Florida recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a master's degree in creative writing.

Earning her master's degree has been a goal she's strived for since she was in high school.

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Donovan graduated high school when she was just 16 years old and would have loved to continue her education but was sadly told that there was no money in the family to send her to college.

She went on to marry, have six children, and even beat breast cancer. Once all of her kids were grown and out of the house, Donovan decided to go back to school.

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When she was in her late seventies, she attended Quincy College, where she received her associate's degree. She then went on to receive her bachelor's degree at UMass when she was 84 years old.

But she didn't stop there. Donovan wanted to fulfil her dream of earning her master's degree, so she continued her education at Southern New Hampshire University.

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"I couldn't wait to get up in the morning to go to school," she told GMA. "I met the most wonderful, intelligent people and professors. And just everyone surrounded me with encouragement and support."

When she completed her degree, the college sent a representative to her home to present her framed diploma.

Donning a cap and gown, Donovan proudly held up her diploma, surrounded by family.

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Donovan hopes her story will encourage others to fulfill their dreams, but since she waited 60 years to fulfill hers, she says she hopes others won't have to wait that long.

"If something doesn't work the first time, just try it again," she said. "And eventually you'll find your dream come true."

Hear more of Donovan's incredibly inspiring story in the video below:


Ashley McCann

Growing up, Ashley always had a passion for writing. After receiving her Bachelor's in Journalism from Stony Brook University, she dove right into the professional world of content. When she isn't writing, she loves to read, travel, and explore the outdoors with her husband and two dogs.

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