Everyone knows the value of education, but not many people would devote their golden years to earning their Bachelor’s Degree. Amy Craton, however, is not most people. She recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a perfect 4.0 GPA at the age of 94. She’s an incredible testament to what people can put their minds to if they really work for it.
Amy actually started her degree more than 50 years earlier.
She was forced to leave school to take care of her children after a divorce. Even though she had to leave school, she always hoped to return to finish what she started. As the years passed, however, it began to seem less and less likely she would find the time to return to college.
Cranton decided to return to school in order to fully live out her remaining years. She hated the thought of being idle, just sitting around and watching television. She knew that she had a lot more life left to live, so she began researching universities online. She chose SNHU because it reminded her of her time as a little girl in Massachusetts. It was online, which allowed her to take classes from her home in Hawaii.
She actually grew up just north of Boston, and spent her summers in New Hampshire. As an adult, she made her way to California, where she raised her children in Mountain View and nearby cities.
She worked for years as an administrative assistant and eventually moved to Hawaii after an employer sent her there on vacation as a reward for helping land a lucrative contract. She fell in love with the island and decided to make it her home.
While some people might think the hardest part about going back to school would be the work involved, Cranton actually found something else more difficult – the time difference in her classes. There’s a six hour difference between Hawaii and New Hampshire, meaning Amy had to take classes as some very odd hours in order to earn her degree. But she doesn’t regret it at all. She’s thrilled to have her degree in English and Creative Writing and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
She encourages everyone who may have left school to consider returning. Cranton says her degree will open up a whole new world of possibilities for her. She hopes to continue her schooling to get her Master’s degree.
Despite her age, she has no intention of slowing down.
Amy actually received some special recognition from the school. Because of her age, she could not make it to New Hampshire for commencement. But because her accomplishment was so special, the school wanted to recognize her. The chancellor of the school flew all the way to Hawaii to hold a commencement ceremony especially for Cranton. The school included all the alumni who lived in Hawaii and her children via video phone to watch her receive this degree. She had no idea it was going to happen and was completely surprised and thrilled!
Cranton hopes to be an example not just to adults thinking about going back to school, but also to her four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She wants these children to know that they can do anything they want if they put their minds to it. Her story is a wonderful story of perseverance and dedication to education. What an incredibly special woman.