HomeODD NEWSODD NEWS: 83-year-old woman becomes Howard University's oldest graduate

ODD NEWS: 83-year-old woman becomes Howard University’s oldest graduate

An 83-year-old woman became Howard University’s oldest-ever gradate when she walked across the stage to receive her doctoral degree in divinity.

Marie Fowler, who previously earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary, said she initially did not think she would make it all the way to graduation.

“It was never my thought that I would go beyond maybe one semester because, after all, I had been out of school since 1959,” Fowlerย told WJLA-TV. “I didn’t even know if I could retain information.”

Fowler exceeded her own expectations by earning her doctoral degree in three years.

“I want to say is that it is never too late,” she said. “I want everyone to realize that I am 83, which means if I can do it, why not you?”

She said her parents were a major inspiration in deciding to continue her education.

“My mom and dad were born in an era when it was illegal for them to learn to read and write,” she said. “We taught my dad how to read and write and how to sign his name so he wouldn’t have to put that X.”

The Howard University School of Divinity hailed Fowler’s “milestone achievement”ย in a Facebook post.

“We at the Howard University School of Divinity would like you to help us celebrate recent 83-year-old Doctor of Ministry graduate Dr. Marie A. Fowler, who serves as the oldest graduate of both the Howard University School of Divinity and Howard University overall,” the post said.

“In addition, she joins the 156th Commencement’s graduating class, which serves as the largest in Howard University’s history.”

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