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78-year-old graduate fulfills lifelong dream of earning college degree


(NEW YORK) — Vivian Cunningham is a grandmother, great-grandmother and now a college graduate.

The 78-year-old graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 8.

“I was amazed. I really felt great.” said Cunningham. “The only thing I can say is I was just elated. It feels good to be, you know, have gone through that educational process.”

Cunningham, who was a single mom of two in the 1960s, worked as a custodian and then in the mailroom at the Alabama Power Company. The company offered to reimburse her college tuition.

Over the years, Cunningham pursued her education bit-by-bit while raising her family.

After retiring in 1992, she started to attend Samford University and complete her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.

Her son, Donald, 59, and her daughter, Tarra, 54, were there to watch their mother graduate.

Cunningham, who said she may go for her master’s degree next, shared a message with “World News Tonight” on Wednesday.

“I would like to tell all the viewers that if you have a dream, and you are passionate about that dream, pursue it,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.”

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