Meet USU's 98-Year-Old Graduate

May 7, 2012

Saturday afternoon marked the 125th graduation ceremony and a milestone for nearly 4,500 students at Utah State University. Among students receiving bachelor's degrees is 98-year-old American Studies student, Twila Boston.

Twila grew up on a farm in Fremont and Loa, Utah, and left for nursing school in 1932 on her 19th birthday. She worked for many years as a nurse. When she returned to higher education recently, she joked it seemed the right thing to do:

"What else is there to do at my age except eat and read and sleep?"

Kristin Monson, public relations specialist for USU's College of Humanities and Social Science says,"She's a lifelong learner and someone who really wanted to come back and finish what she started. She is a prolific reader and someone who never lost that passion for learning. It was a natural fit for her to come back and complete her degree."

Twila believes it's never too late to go back to education though she admits it would have been easier a few years ago. Due to a degenerative eye condition she was given many lessons over the phone. In some ways Twila's age gave her an advantage when it came to American history. Jeannie Thomas, head of USU's English Department helped Twila with her capstone class: "It's neat that you could see this person talking from their family and lived experience and then the director of American Studies would come in and talk about the historical framework behind it."

Twila says that even after graduating, her learning will continue.