74-year-old Albuquerque woman to graduate from UNM

University of New Mexico, UNM
University of New Mexico, UNM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Decades after taking her first college class, a 74-year-old Albuquerque woman said she is finally achieving what she has always wanted.

“I feel like a kid almost,” Elaine Lieberman said.

She is getting ready to put down the books and schoolwork and put on a cap and gown this weekend.

“Wow, I’m actually going to be a college graduate,” Elaine said. “Only I’m a lot older, like 50 something years older than most of them.”

She will be in the middle of a sea of cherry red at The Pit where she will get her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from the University of New Mexico.

“I think this is wonderful that she’s graduating,” Elaine’s husband, Morton Lieberman said. “This has been a long term goal of hers.”

The Liebermans said Elaine first started at UNM in the late 70s, taking classes on and off.

“She had a great uncertainty about her own abilities,” Morton said.

“I always say that I’ve taken so many non-credit classes over the years and gone to so many lecture series over the years that I could have had a PhD by now if they had all been for credit,” Elaine said.

However, six years ago, she decided to really go for the degree.

“I just made up my mind. If I want to do it, I better do it now. I don’t have that much time,” she said.

Not only did she do it, she said she is doing it with a 4.0 GPA.

Now, she is looking forward to walking on that stage.

“I am trying to decide if I’m going to do anything extraordinary up there,” she said. “I haven’t made that decision yet.”

Either way, her family will be there cheering her on.

“I think we’ll all have a great deal of pride,” Morton said.

To anyone else considering going back to school, she says, “Why don’t you do it?” It’s never too late.

The commencement ceremony is at The Pit on Saturday, May 9 at 9 a.m.

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