90-year-old woman graduates from US university with honours, celebrates unique achievement

After making her maiden attempt more than 70 years ago, Joyce DeFauw, a remarkable 90-year-old grandma, finally achieved her lifelong aim of earning a university degree.

Joyce DeFauw, 90, earned a general studies bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, making her the oldest graduate in the school’s history.

Joyce DeFauw narrated that she first enrolled in Northern Illinois University in 1951 but had to terminate her education having meeting the love of her life in a church. “I went to school for three and a half years, but decided to leave after I met him.” DeFauw narrated.

When Joyce DeFauw originally enrolled at Northern Illinois University to finish her bachelor’s degree, according to WREX, it was still known as Northern Illinois State Teachers College. She initially signed up to pursue a degree in teaching but then switched to home economics.

She married Don Freeman Sr., the charming man Joyce DeFauw fell in love with. They were married and had three children together before he passed away.

Afterwards, Joyce married Roy DeFauw, who died. They raised six children together, including two pairs of twins. Her family has grown throughout the years, and she now has 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

In 2019, Joyce DeFauw decided to return to the university to earn her degree after her children encouraged her. “I guess I mentioned I was upset that I didn’t finish school and my children encouraged me to go back,” she said.

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