70 Year-Old Graduate

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 10:17am

Carol Strohmetz receives her college diploma at the age of 70.

It's never too late to go back to school, and one Mississippi resident is living proof.

70-year-old Carol Strohmetz said she has always wanted to get her bachelor's degree, and about three years ago, she started turning that goal into a reality.

On Saturday she not only received her bachelor's degree, but she graduated with high honors.

"When we walked into the coliseum and walked into the auditorium where we were graduating from I filled up. I choked up and thought oh my goodness I'm going to cry; it just was very emotional," Strohmetz said.

More than 50 years after graduating high school, Strohmetz was receiving her bachelor's degree.

"Many years ago I had gotten an associates degree in business, and then I worked in business my whole life. But I was never really crazy about business," Strohmetz said.

So she decided to make a change, she enrolled at University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus to pursue a degree in American Studies and a minor in Women's Studies.

"I started just taking a couple of courses. Then as I got more comfortable, I added more classes, so I could get done quicker," Strohmetz said.

She admits the classroom was quiet different than she remembered.

"Technology has advanced so much since I was in school, and the students are plugged into everything, iPads and all kinds of kindles and computers," Strohmetz said.

Despite the adjustment, Stromehtz graduated with a 3.95 grade point average and numerous honors. She credits part of that to her fellow classmates.

"The young students are so energetic and so much fun, and it is just so stimulating to be around them. And they just spurred me on; it was great," Strohmetz said.

Her college experience did not just revolve around the books.

Strohmetz's neighbor, who is a retired USM Dean, took her to several football games.

"We had a great time. It was a lot of fun, made me feel like a real college student," she said.

The alum says she has always been a big fan of the Golden Eagles, proudly flying a school flag outside her home for years now.

In fact this is her second one because the first was so worn she had to replace it.

"I love USM, to the top," Strohmetz said.

Strohmetz has just published a children's book and says she has two adult books in the works and now that she will not be studying, she hopes to finish them soon.

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