After a week of college graduations and commencement speeches on Wednesday (May 9) 92-year-old Annie Dillard proved education has no expiration date as she walked across the stage to receive her fourth degree.
While owning her own hair salon, the South Carolina-native has always had a thirst for knowledge. A hunger that led her to enroll in Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC where she officially became the school’s most “seasoned” graduate after receiving an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts last week.
“I’ve known Mrs. Dillard for a number of years, almost since she’s started at the college and I’ve been really, really pleased with her progress,” Ronald Rhames, president of Midlands Technical College said of Dillard’s character.“She would be on campus always smiling, always willing to talk with people.”
Rhames then went on to detail how Dillard’s persistence and attitude towards education could have a positive impact others.
“If I’m a 15, 16, 17, 18, 19-year-old student at our college and to see a lady as mature as Mrs. Dillard, then I have to be encouraged to see what’s gonna happen with me,” Rhames stated.
Dillard said her journey has become an example for her fellow collegiate peers. “(The youngsters) say they have great inspiration,” Dillard said. “They say they’re gonna tell mom and get mom to start school.”
After being one of Midlands Tech’s more than 2,200 degree, diploma, and certificate recipients, Dillard expressed her intentions to return to school and the tireless journey that is her education.
“I don’t have any rest at all,” Dillard said of returning to college in two weeks to earn her degree in early childhood education. “(I’m okay with that). Only the strong survive.”