95-year-old woman graduates from college

‘She’s gone through sickness, had to be put in the hospital, but never gave up,’ Big Springs resident says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 17 April 2024 23:03 BST
Paralysed student graduates

A 95-year-old woman has graduated from Howard College with her GED.

For years, business owner Margie Ward wanted to get her GED but wasn’t sure if it was too late. With the help of her community in Big Spring, Texas, Ward enrolled at Howard College in 2022.

“She was in the business world for most of her life,” Howard College President Cheryl Sparks told local news outlet KTVB. “Her husband taught her how to read and then some math. But again, she was handling that business all those years. She always wanted to get that GED. So, because of ParkPlace and everybody teaming together, she started coming to Howard College.”

Every day, Ward would wake up bright and early for days full of learning, but unfortunately, her late-in-life education journey was cut short by health issues. Despite this setback, Howard College decided to recognise Ward for her efforts and helped her accomplish her dream.

“It was one of those things that it was like we’re going to celebrate,” President Sparks explained. “Because, as far as we’re concerned, she did, you know? And so, this was a big day.”

Ward’s tenacious spirit led her to pursue her goals wholeheartedly, setting an example for her family, including one of her very proud great-grandchildren.

“She’s always pushed me to chase my dreams,” Ward’s great-granddaughter, Stevi, gushed. “I mean, even today, she was like: ‘Hey, your turn to go back to school’. So, she’s just constantly pushing us and my family to do good and be better and just be the best, your best self and she’s exemplifying it today. Just the fact that she’s always wanted to do this and who at 93 is like, I’m going to get my GED.”

Stevi noted that her great-grandmother heading back to school gave them something new to bond over and talk about.

“Just like talking to her on the phone about, like I said, it’s just great to hear about her day instead of just sitting here and reading the book or something,” Stevi explained. “She went to school and talked and learned.”

Margie said that the best part of the whole experience was being supported by her family and her community. Seeing everyone show up and show out for her warmed her heart. “Real fun,” Margie commented on the experience. “This was all my family.”

Margie and her late husband Bill opened Wards’s Boot Saddles and Western Wear in Big Spring in 1950. Their staff was a tight-knit family unit, supporting her throughout her college endeavours. One staff member said that they would come in to work extra early just to make breakfast and help Margie before she started her school day.

Mitzi Knight, the business developer for Park Place Retirement Living, told KBest News that Ward would get up at 4am Monday through Thursday for class, with her staffers making sure that she arrived on campus by 7.30am.

“She’s worked hard with Howard College. She’s gone through sickness, had to be put in the hospital, but never gave up,” Knight said, noting that she was an inspiration to her fellow students and Big Spring residents.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in