Earlier this month, Janet Lively achieved a life-long goal when she graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) with a 3.9 GPA. The 75-year-old great-grandmother finished high school in 1962 but was unable to pursue a bachelor’s degree after starting a family. 

“A modest income didn’t allow for college. Not to mention no time. I enjoyed being a mom,” she told WSB-TV

However, Lively knew that earning a college degree was something she wanted to accomplish. When she finally reached the milestone, Lively’s family surprised her with a wonderful greeting which read “Congrats Grad 2020” on her front yard. 

When Lively saw what her family prepared, she was amazed. 

“Where did that come from? I was in total shock. Several of my kids snuck over here at night and put that thing up. That was so sweet!” she said. 

No Limits

Lively enrolled at GGC back in 2012 and took one or two classes every semester. She has impressed everyone with her dedication and academic performance. Despite juggling college coursework with family duties such as babysitting — and being much older than most of her classmates — Lively thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I have enjoyed every minute of it. Learning, being on campus. I have enjoyed meeting the professors. They are all wonderful. And being around those students made me feel younger. They accepted me. We were buds and we would hang out. I got so much from it,” she said.

“Sometimes I would hang back during a group project to see if anyone volunteered to take the lead. If no one did, I jumped in and didn’t mind taking charge. We would sit and joke together, it was fun,” Lively added.

As for future plans, the History graduate looks forward to auditing some classes back at GGC and becoming a substitute teacher at one of the local schools.