During the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017 at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), one person stood out, and that was Lucy Capers, a 79-year old great-grandmother from Prince George’s county.
“Education is the key. Just having that knowledge is everything,” ABC News quoted Lucy as saying.
Lucy went to a segregated elementary school in Alabama at a time when educational opportunities were hard to come by.
She got married at 18 to a soldier. After a number of moves, the couple raised three children in Maryland. She worked for the Department of Defense but retired in 2002.
“Basically, I always wanted an education,” she said. “And the more you learn, the more you open up to new things and look at the world in a different way.”
“I always had a desire to know things,” the Bachelor of Science in Computer Studies degree holder said.
She adds that she decided to get a college degree to set a positive example for her grandchildren.
“Maybe if I finish this will be more amazing to them. You know, and they would say, ‘If Grandma could do it, we could do it!’” she said.
In 2004, she started studying at Prince George’s Community College where she was only required to pay for registration and books. She got two associates degrees but wanted that four-year degree so she started at UMUC two years later.
She took one or more classes a term for nine years and only missing class during one semester when her husband’s health declined. But she’s not done.
“If the university pays for master’s degrees for seniors, I may try for that,” the happy graduate said.