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5 Oldest Graduates from a University

By Rick Cohen, 9:00 am on

You have probably heard all your life that you are never too old to learn. Some seniors have never given up on their quest to finish college. Below are five seniors who have earned their degrees after the age of 90 and continue to inspire both seniors and their Milwaukee in-home care professionals.

1. Nola Ochs

Nola Ochs took her first college course in 1930 at the tender age of 19. She soon fell in love, so she dropped out to raise her family that soon included four sons. She returned to college for a brief while in 1972 after her husband passed away. She eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2007 alongside her youngest granddaughter. Nola was not content, however, so she went back to school and graduated with a master’s degree in 2009 when she was 98 years old.

2. Leo Plass

Leo Plass did not realize that he was just three hours short of getting his teaching degree in 1932. With the Great Depression keeping many students out of school, he jumped at the chance when a friend offered him $180 to enter the logging business. Just a few months short of 100, he graduated with an associate’s degree in 2011. Leo says that school has completely changed, pointing out that students no longer learn the most important things in life, like how to sew and cook.

3. Wally Taibleson

Most people do not earn three master’s degrees when they are very young, which is what makes Wally’s story so amazing. He did not take his first college course until he was 70 years old and he graduated with an associate’s degree at the age of 75. That was just the beginning, however. His master’s degrees are in history, writing and education. He graduated from his last degree despite the fact that muscular degeneration made him use two magnifying glasses, special textbooks and a flashlight.

4. Alan Stewart

Just a few days short of turning 92, Doctor Alan Stewart graduated with his fourth degree since he turned 80 years old. He graduated with his degree in dentistry in 1936. When Doctor Steward is not learning, he stays busy volunteering his time in the community. He says the biggest change since he earned his dentistry degree is the computer. Most of his computer skills he taught himself.

5. Doctor Roy Vandiver

Doctor Roy Vandiver started college when he young, but World War II got in the way. He entered the United States Air Force where he earned his medical degree. After the war, he practiced neurosurgery for 31 years. He then went on to serve as the chairman of the board for MagMutual Insurance Company for 21 years. After retiring, he returned to school where he earned his bachelor’s.

Don’t let age keep your senior loved one from accomplishing goals and learning new things. With help from Home Care Assistance, your loved one will learn to eat nutritious foods, exercise daily and socialize with new and old friends. Our comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia and post-stroke home care in Milwaukee even accommodates seniors with more immediate needs. Don’t hesitate to call us at (414) 964-8000 today to set up a free consultation with an experienced Care Manager.