top of page

90 year old Illinois woman graduates college decades later after dropping out.

At Northern Illinois University, a woman who left school just a few semesters short of graduating received her bachelor's degree at 90 years old. After decades of waiting she finally felt like it was time to get it done. The DeKalb school released its class of graduates. The oldest graduate of the institution in history, Joyce DeFauw, 90, of Geneseo, received her diploma on Sunday.

"You can't put a value on it, in my opinion," DeFauw told WREX-TV. "Just don't give up. I mean if you have the opportunity, take that opportunity, and you never know. A lot of us get sidetracked or whatever, but go back."

DeFauw began attending the institution in 1951 while it was still known as Northern Illinois State Teachers College. He stayed there for 3 and a half years before leaving to be married and start a family. She went back to school in 2019 and completed online courses to finish her bachelor's degree in general studies, which she was awarded at the graduation ceremony on Sunday.

DeFauw expressed her hope that more people will be motivated to complete their educations by her success.



click here

bottom of page