Learning is a lifelong process that never ends. Few people exemplify that better than 92-year old Annie Dillard, who graduated from Midlands Tech in South Carolina this week with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. It’s her third degree, and she’s already planning the pursuit of her fourth.
Dillard is a mother, grandmother, and has owned a hair salon for the past 30 years. She also earned her first Bachelor’s Degree back in the 1960s. But a few years ago, she decided to go back to school.
“I wanted to get to know things,” Dillard explains. “I wanted to know what was going on. With this world, you have to keep up. A little slow but I’m there.”
In addition to wanting to continue learning about the world, Dillard says the biggest reason she decided to return to school was to be around people, particularly the younger generation.
“With this automated world if I had sat home I could watch tv but I wouldn’t be with the people,” says Dillard. “To be with the younger group and to be able to keep up with them that’s a joy for me.”
Dillard’s return to school has made her an inspiration to many of her fellow graduates at Midlands Tech. It also inspired her own daughter, who’s a doctor, to pursue a degree in graphic design.
“A lot of people think when they get a certain age, they’re supposed to quit and just do nothing. But mom is like ‘NO, keep moving, keep moving.” said Dillard’s daughter. “I’m so proud of her.”
After walking across the graduation stage on Thursday night, Dillard will have just a couple weeks to enjoy her latest accomplishment before she begins classes toward a degree in early childhood education, as she continues to prove that you’re never too old to pursue knowledge.
“My advice is you can make it if you try,” says Dillard. “But you have to start somewhere.”