"All those years, I dreamed of going back to school," said Lottie Jacks

By Rose Minutaglio
Updated May 12, 2016 01:45 PM
Credit: Samford University/Caroline Summers

Lottie Jacks can’t wait to walk across the graduation stage on Saturday – the 85-year-old great-grandmother has waited her whole life for this moment!

The soon-to-be college grad is on track to receive her bachelor’s degree in biology from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 14. Jacks originally enrolled in college in 1948, but dropped out of school one semester short of receiving her degree to marry her longtime sweetheart.

“I wanted to finish what I started! All those years, I dreamed of going back to school,” she said in an interview with Samford University.

Jacks – a mother of four, grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of two – will actually be walking with her granddaughter on Saturday, who is graduating with a Master’s Degree.

Jacks decided to pursue her longtime dream of receiving a college degree in 2015. When she began collecting the necessary documents for her application, she was completely shocked to find that her transcript from 1948 was still on file.

She was accepted to Samford and enrolled for the spring 2015 semester. The dedicated student quickly took on a research project that would eventually turn into her senior thesis paper – the study of feeding habits of turkey vultures.

“I am impressed by Lottie’s willingness to tackle a novel project that required fieldwork and observation,” says Jacks’ professor, Betsy Dobbins.

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“Studying takes all my time!” says Jacks.

Jacks will finish her final exams on Thursday – and she couldn’t be more excited about finally achieving her lifelong dream.

“I prayed that God would approve it. Everything has worked out wonderfully,” she said.