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New Brunswick woman takes almost 50 years to receive university degree

Nearly 50 years of hard work have finally allowed a New Brunswick woman to graduate from university. 

Elizabeth Greenfield, attended her spring convocation at St. Thomas University on Tuesday and received her diploma along with many others in her program who were not even born before her early days of enrolment. 

The 70-year-old, began her program in 1971, but told the Daily Gleaner that life got in the way of her completing her degree. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. 

Greenfield, a retired elementary teacher, who has a certificate from the New Brunswick Teachers’ College, said she decided she wanted to work towards a university degree at St. Thomas University shortly after receiving her teaching qualifications. 

She now holds a bachelor of arts degree, majoring in gerontology and fine arts. 

Greenfield said she took a few courses every decade, but was unable to find the time to commit to her studies until 2012. 

She also credited many of her fellow students in her program who were friendly and helpful, especially those who were there to assist her when she struggled with computer-based assignments. 

“It means a lot,” she said. 

Greenfield added that anyone who wants to finish their degree should do it, no matter what their age is. 

As for post-university plans, she told the Daily Gleaner she hopes to become a mentor to other older students and continue to serve as the gerontology expert in her bridge group. 

The new graduate added that even after decades of school she’s not sick of it yet. 

“I’m going to come back in the fall and audit a few courses,” she said.