81-year-old grandma graduating college
A Vancleave grandmother is living out a life-long dream all before her 82nd birthday. Eighty-one year-old Barbara Ann Smith will walk across the stage and graduate college in Biloxi tonight.
At almost 82-years-old, Vancleave resident Barbara Ann Smith is graduating from college. “Excited and I’m just, really, haven’t settled down.”
Or sat down. Barbara even insisted on standing during her interview to share with News 25 how hard she’s worked for her general studies degree from MGCCC in Jackson County. “Biology 1, biology 2, I got an A. With the instructor and get my assignments done early.”
Barbara’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren came from all over Mississippi and beyond to help celebrate a life-long goal. Barbara’s granddaughter, Charlotte Hilton, said, “After losing her mom and then my grandpa and then going to school, that’s just amazing.”
Barbara worked for Keesler Air Force Base while raising five children. Eight grand kids and 11 great grandchildren later, Barbara was in her late 70s when she decided to go to school. She tells News 25 if the younger kids could get a college degree so could she. “Some of them, they’d say something and I would say is that the way you been brought up? You don’t do that. I’d say I’m old enough to be your great grandmother, but they’d enjoy it and I enjoyed them.”
Barbara Smith will not only graduate with an associate’s degree, but a certificate of honor for health, physical education, and recreation achievements.
After graduation, Barbara plans on going back to school for a higher education.