90-year-old woman receives her college degree in Illinois

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Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A woman who dropped out of college a few semesters shy of graduation was finally presented with her bachelor's degree at the age of 90 at Northern Illinois University.

The DeKalb school announced its graduating class Sunday included Joyce DeFauw, 90, of Geneseo, the oldest person to ever graduate from the university.


DeFauw enrolled in what was then known as Northern Illinois State Teachers College in 1951 and attended for 3 1/2 years before dropping out to get married and start a family.

She returned to school in 2019 and took online classes to complete her bachelor of general studies degree, which she received at Sunday's graduation ceremony.

DeFauw said she hopes her accomplishment will inspire others to finish their educations.

"You can't put a value on it, in my opinion," DeFauw told WREX-TV. "Just don't give up. I mean if you have the opportunity, take that opportunity, and you never know. A lot of us get sidetracked or whatever, but go back."

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