Great Grandma Graduates College At 81

Close-up of a mortarboard and degree certificate put on the table. Education stock photo

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Janice Hall, an 81-year-old great-grandmother, has recently graduated from Bethel University, achieving a goal she had been working towards for over five decades. Hall initially started working on her degree earlier in life but was derailed by a serious car accident. Since then, she has raised a family of three children, 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren and had a successful career in human resources, even receiving a key to the city of South Bend for her accomplishments.

Despite facing hardships, including a stroke, two battles with breast cancer, and the loss of her husband, Hall carried on. Her son, Michael Patton, praised her resilience, saying, "She's persevered and she has met the challenge, not only today but over her lifetime." Hall credits her family's support for her success, as they have been with her every step of the way.

Hall's daughter, Michelle Patton Johnson, is inspired by her mother's story and is now considering master's programs in social work. And she might be classmates with her mom, because Hall plans to return to Bethel University in the fall to earn her master's degree. Johnson expressed excitement for what lies ahead for her mom, saying, "At 81, she still has a future."


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