WATCH: 80-Year-Old Nebraska Native Earns Bachelor’s Degree: ‘Don’t Start Anything You Can’t Finish’

An 80-year-old Nebraska woman recently earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), proving that it is never too late for one to pursue his or her dreams.

Eighty-year-old Madeline Adams first started at UNO back in 1960, but she was unable to finish her degree at the time because, as she told KETV, “life happened.”

“(I was) expecting, married, second child, third child, divorced, moved out of state,” she added. 

The octogenarian moved to Missouri, where she worked in real estate for a decade and a half before relocating again to Honolulu, Hawaii, KETV reported. From there, she came back to the mainland U.S. After living in Arizona for a time, Adams moved to Texas to live with her daughter, Robin Wright, who came to a realization as she was helping her mother get settled. 

“I noticed that she had 40 credits from UNO and I said, ‘Mom, why don’t you just finish,'” Wright said.

The 80-year-old re-enrolled at UNO and signed up for online courses. She stuck to it and realized her aspiration of becoming a college graduate. 

“I always told my children, ‘Don’t start anything you can’t finish,’ so, I had to be the example,” Adams said.

UNO’s website commencement took place on Friday, and Adams – listed as an Omaha native – graduated with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. 

The college graduation season has shed light on a number of heartwarming stories around the country. An anonymous donor cleared the loans of the entire graduating class at Wiley College in Texas, while a valedictorian with nonverbal autism delivered an inspiring commencement speech at Rollins College in Florida.


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