91 Year Old Graduate

By WVUA 23 Reporter Grace Campbell

Saturday afternoon thousands of people in their 20s graduated from The University of Alabama, but one woman in her 90s shook President Stuart Bell’s hand after completing her bachelor’s degree in human environmental sciences.

Jackie Tucker started school at UA back in 1946 to pursue a math degree but put it on hold to start a family.

It wasn’t until last year when her granddaughter, Elizabeth Tucker, wrote a letter to the university and discovered Jackie only needed 11 more credits to receive a degree.

“When I found out I could come back without getting my degree in math, I decided I could do it, so I’m proud of myself frankly,” Jackie said.

When Jackie was young, her mother moved their family to Tuscaloosa so they could all have an education. After having 25 children and grandchildren graduate from UA, Jackie decided it was her turn to finish out the education her mother instilled in her.

“I owe my sense of having an education to my mother who was a remarkable person,” Jackie said. “I’m sorry I did not get this done before she died but she knows I guess.”

After having some initial fears of her fellow classmates and professors when starting school again, Jackie reached her goal and received her degree.

Jackie’s family is proud of all she accomplished and came from across the country to watch her walk across the stage during graduation and accept her degree.

“I just felt so proud and so happy that the way I see my grandmother, other people can see and how proud I am of her and how capable I see her, she can also see herself,” Elizabeth said. “She did all this work and she can still contribute and teach and learn. To get to see that pay off as she walked was incredible.”

Jackie is now planning on volunteering at Caring Days Adult Daycare but joked about pursuing another degree since she is only 91-years-old.

Categories: Archives, Local News