When Horace Sheffield walked on stage at Friday’s graduation at Shorter University, the crowd erupted. They yelled and screamed as he made his way across the stage to receive his degree. But who is Horace and why did he get that much attention just for graduating college?

It was a lifelong dream of his to graduate college. It was one he gave up on over 50 years ago. When he left Shorter University in 1965, he had two daughters who were getting ready to go to college. He couldn’t put them through school and attend himself. So, he made the ultimate sacrifice and gave them their college educations.

Horace Sheffield recalls, “I dropped out with 115 hours. At that time a piece of paper on a wall didn’t mean that much to me. I had my education and my brain and my heart, and I put them all to good use. But … I wanted that degree.”

Horace Sheffield Goes Back To School

Then one day a few years ago, he learned that he could attend college online for free. There was a program for seniors that allowed them to attend college without paying any tuition. Horace took advantage of the opportunity and his tutor, Amanda Brannock handled the rest. Horace Sheffield was back in college slotted to graduate after he turned 88 years old.

His Family Believed In Him

His granddaughter Jill Brazier had all the faith in the world in him. “He’s smart as a whip, I’m not even lying.” Not sure why anyone would think she was lying. It’s more than enough evidence that Horace graduated in Christian studies to back up Jill’s claims about her grandfather.

Horace Sheffield Walks Across The Stage

His tutor Amanda was very vital to Horace’s success. She brought him a computer and printer for him to do his classwork and he doesn’t have enough to say about her. “She wrote out my assignments and told me what to do and she expected me to do it. She expected me to make straight As and I did it. I wrote two papers a week and then had the test. I wrote it in long-hand and she typed it all up and put it into the computer. Without her I would not have this diploma today.”

It’s a great accomplishment for anyone. Let alone a man of his age. “A man 88 years old don’t have an opportunity to walk across the stage many times in life.” But, Horace had a goal and he was determined. That should give enough motivation to anyone who is thinking of attending college, but is overwhelmed by the thoughts of it.

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