91-year-old woman receives college degree from Daytona State

Irene Lewis earns bachelor's degree as oldest graduate in school history

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It's the season for graduations, and on Monday, more than 4,200 students at Daytona State College received their degrees.

Among them, the oldest student in the school's history, 91-year old Irene Lewis. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management in two years. That's about half the time the program normally takes.

"I have more years behind me than ahead of me," she said. "I had to do it in a hurry."

Lewis calls herself a "lifelong learner" and previously worked as a registered nurse. After a serious accident a few years ago, she decided to go back to school, but found technology, like email and online groups a little different from her last time in a classroom.

"That certainly wasn't in my curriculum in the 20s, 30s and 40s. I'm learning about modern life, yes I am," she said.

Lewis graduated with a 3.8 grade point average, but says she didn't go to school for grades, and that life really begins at 50.

"You've been there, done that. If you haven't been slapped in the face and knocked down a few times you haven't lived," she said. "You can learn from experiences and have a lot of fun."

Lewis plans to pursue her master's degree, and maybe even her doctorate. Daytona State College's Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management was recently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top online degree programs.

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