Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grandmother graduates college after 42 years

Thursday was the graduation day a Hamden grandmother has been looking forward to for 42 years.

Dora Anne Council, 76, was among the 870 graduates to receive their diplomas at Gateway Community College Thursday night.

"They said, 'Grandma, you're one of a kind.' But I'm not one of kind because all you have to do is want something bad enough," Council said.

In 1969, she first enrolled in what was then called South Central Community College. Shortly after, she decided to put her education on hold to help support her family.

"I wanted to go to college when I was young, but I knew I couldn't because I had to get a job," Council said. "I lucked out and got a job as a telephone operator and that was a good accomplishment."

Thirty years later, she decided it was time to go back to school, and she had the full support of her family when she went back to what is now Gateway Community College.

"I told her, 'Look mom, you want to go back. It's your turn now,'" her son, Jimmy-Lee Moore, said. "Hey, I have the money, I'll pay for whatever you need. You let me know."

On Thursday night, Council sat amongst her classmates, most of whom are around the same age as her grandchildren.

"They think I'm so smart. I said, 'I'm no smarter than you are,'" Council said. "The answers are in the book."

When Dora's name was called out, there was a huge round of applause.

"It feels wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!" she exclaimed following graduation.

She received an associate degree in general studies.


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