97-Year-Old Fulfills College Dream


After more than 40 years, one woman is making her dreams a reality tonight as she will walk across the stage to accept her diploma.

Ohio University Eastern will allowed 97 year old Kathryn Snead to fulfill her dream Friday evening.

She originally graduated in 1975 but didn’t get to participate in the ceremony.

But now after all these years and with the help of her daughter Jennifer and OUE her dreams are coming true.

7 News Reporter, Samantha Gretchen, had the opportunity to listen to her long journey that started back in 1935.

“My mother pushed me actually out the door I was crying I didn’t want to go, Kathryn Snead said.”

Her reason for not wanting to go to college was she didn’t want to leave her mom behind.

But Kathryn had no choice her bags were packed and her mother walked her to the bus station where she would go on to study education at West Virginia State College for 3 years.

During that time, Kathryn got married and had two children.

With her mothers health declining, Kathryn moved back to Wheeling to help take care of her mother which then lead her to her next journey.

“I found out that Dr. Paul Elbin who was president at West Liberty at that time decided that all teachers needed to renew their teaching certificates and I was always doing some kind of substitute teaching so each year I would take a class whatever I needed I would take she says. So that’s how I’ve gotten to this point by taking one class now and one class whatever I was able to find at the time.”

Time passed and Kathryn remarried a veteran of the second war.

He began having heart troubles which led them to move to St. Clairsville, OH.

“I found out that there was a college here in St. Clairsville that I could attend.” Kathryn says. “Well that tipped the apple to the other side and I found out I could get what I needed so I started taking some classes.”

Unfortunately his health wasn’t getting any better and Kathryn had to give up everything to take care of him but she says she didn’t mind because he was a wonderful man.

He may even be responsible for her long life.

“In fact he’s the one who taught me how to smile and now my motto is to teach all elderly people to smile or find something to be happy about because it really helps to keep you well.”

In 1975, she finally graduated with a general studies degree from OUE but decided not to attend the ceremony because her husband had just had both his legs amputated.

Finally, at 97 years old she will put on her cap and gown and walk at OUE’s 2015 graduation thanks to the help from her daughter who knows how important this is.

When asked if she was excited about her graduation she laughed and said, “I’m terrified this is all for you….this is all for you mom.”

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