88-Year-Old Grandfather Graduates On Same Day From Same University As His 23-Year-Old Granddaughter

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88-Year-Old Grandfather Graduates On Same Day From Same University As His 23-Year-Old Granddaughter

An 88-year-old grandfather has graduated from university on the same day as his 23-year-old granddaughter in a move that shows you are never too old to gain an education.


Rene Neira had built a family and a successful career in finance but had never achieved his goal of a degree in economics, the same subject his granddaughter Melanie Salazar was studying at the same university. She told the TODAY program:


"He was very passionate about urban and economic development of the southside of San Antonio. In the 1960s, he did a lot of advocacy through civic engagement. He participated in rallies and marches and got involved with local government. From that time, one of his life's goal was to earn a degree in economics. In the 50s, he started school, then soon fell in love and started a family. Then he went back in the 80s, the 90s, the early 2000s, and then it just so happened that he went back to school again at the same time that I was starting."


In 2016 both gained an Associate's degree from Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, moving on together to the University of Texas, San Antonio.



Melanie continued:


"We never had classes together, but there were times we would meet up for lunch in the cafeteria, or sometimes we would be studying side-by-side in the library. It was definitely an interesting experience to have my grandpa on campus with me, but I was pretty used to it. It became my normal! Sometimes he would need help navigating the school's website for his classes and I would help him. I often would take him to campus and take him back home."


Adding:


"From what has been shared with me, he always had something to say, especially if his professors had different opinions than him. And there were often times a professor would be talking about the past and say, 'Hey Rene, you lived through that time period, tell us more about what you remember during that time.' His classmates, I think, were motivated and inspired to see him."


Sadly, Melanie also revealed that her grandfather is now terminally ill but says that it is wonderful that he achieved his goal:


"It felt like a miracle! We didn't know if we would see this moment come true with his declining health. I am very thankful that UTSA was able to make it happen and that he was recognized for his work. He worked so hard despite having hearing loss, sometimes not having a car and having to take the public bus, and working twice as hard to understand the ever-changing and modernizing content of economics that has changed since he first started school."


[Based on reporting by: Upworthy]


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Thinking Humanity: 88-Year-Old Grandfather Graduates On Same Day From Same University As His 23-Year-Old Granddaughter
88-Year-Old Grandfather Graduates On Same Day From Same University As His 23-Year-Old Granddaughter
An 88-year-old grandfather has graduated from university on the same day as his 23-year-old granddaughter in a move that shows you are never too old t
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