Honolulu, H.I. (January 17, 2017) - Ninety-four-year-old Amy Craton was surprised with a graduation celebration in Honolulu yesterday after achieving her lifelong dream of earning a college degree. Craton, one of the world's oldest college graduates, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English online from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) with a perfect 4.0 GPA and is now going on to pursue her Master's degree.
During the celebration, hosted by SNHU, President LeBlanc presented Craton with her diploma among friends, family, and fellow Hawaii-based SNHU alumni. Several of Craton's family members who were unable to attend the event in Hawaii joined via video chat.
"It feels good to graduate, but in many ways I feel I am still on the road; I have more to learn" said Amy Craton, SNHU graduate. "If you're thinking about going back to school, do it. You'll open up a whole new life."
Craton began her path to a degree in 1962, but put her college education on hold to provide for her four children.
Since Craton lives in Hawaii and was unable to travel to New Hampshire for Commencement in May, LeBlanc and the University decided to throw Craton a celebration of her own.
"Amy is an extraordinary student; at the age of 94, she earned a degree that was 54 years in the making - and with a 4.0 GPA no less," said Paul LeBlanc, President, Southern New Hampshire University. "Amy is the epitome of a lifelong learner, and my hope is that her story will remind others that it's never too late to follow their dreams or learn something new. The entire SNHU community could not be more proud of her accomplishment."
Craton's degree was officially conferred in November 2016, and is SNHU's oldest graduate and active student; she is now pursuing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English. Craton has a passion for haikus, and aspires to write a children's book. During the program, Craton recited an original poem she wrote.
"Amy has inspired so many people by finishing her degree and it has been an absolute pleasure working with her on her academic journey," said Chrisandra Bauer, Amy's Academic Advisor at SNHU. "I am so happy that I was able to be here today to celebrate her success."
"I'll remember this day for the rest of my life," Craton said.
For photos and b-roll from the celebration, please click here.