Suzanne Stricker is an 80-year-old grandmother living in Dallas, Texas. Retired from her previous work at a non-profit, the New Zealand native began taking advantage of free courses for seniors at the University of Texas-Dallas back in 2006. Earlier this year, she realized she had racked up enough credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. Now, Stricker is a proud graduate with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts.
Although Stricker was considerably older than the vast majority of her classmates, she came to realize she had more in common with them than she had originally thought.
“I had the preconceived notion that since I was older than they were they wouldn’t know as much, but they do and they work hard, too,” Stricker told CBS DFW.
Sticker admits it took her a bit more time and focus to complete her studies than most of her fellow students, and she came to admire young people’s time management skills.
A lifelong music lover, Stricker was also a member the Chamber Singers group on campus, and performed in “The Best of Broadway,” a university show. She loved getting to know her instructors and appreciated the diversity in the student body.
Now that she has an undergraduate degree, Stricker is not stopping there. Next up, she has her sights set on earning a master’s degree in the Visual and Performing Arts program.
“She was a very wonderful student and, in some ways, I think she inspired me to go back to school,” Dr. Kathryn Evans, senior lecturer and director of the UT Dallas Chamber Singers, said in a press release. “Suzanne is a great example of lifelong learning.”
Watch this touching video that shows the moment Stricker walked across the stage to accept her diploma:
Congratulations to Stricker on her awesome accomplishment, and best of luck on her continued educational journey!