I know some you are sitting around and wishing for a college degree or change in profession. Many of you will let the thought pass you by. Your dream will remain a dream. There are some of you that feel that you are too old to return to college. You feel foolish chasing after long ago made goals and dreams. However, this was not the thought of Nola Ochs during the graduation commencement ceremony at Fort Hayes State University on Saturday.
At Saturday’s ceremony, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to graduate from college. Nola is 95 years old. She received a bachelor’s degree in general studies and history. Ochs began taking courses off and on in 1972 at Dodge City Community College after the passing of her husband. Last fall she moved to Fort Hayes and finished her last 30 hours to receive a degree.
Nola Ochs now holds the new record in the Guinness Book of World Records. The former titleholder for the oldest person earning a college degree was 90 years old.
Ochs and her granddaughter, one of thirteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren, both graduated from college this past weekend. Nola Ochs is now considering returning to college to earn her master’s degree.
Nola Ochs had many supporters at the ceremony including family, friends, and fellow students. She is an inspiration to others. She is also a reminder that it is never too late to focus on your goals. Never give up on your dreams.
I found this story very touching. I can only imagine a lady, lost without her beloved husband, trying to find a new place in the world. Unlike many, she did not stop living and let life pass her by.
While most of you are much younger than Nola, it is important to remember never to stop living. Our lives should be full and inspiring to the end. Whatever your dreams may be, go for them!