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Beauty and Brains: 92-year-old woman graduates from Midlands Technical College

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A Midlands woman has beauty, brains, and three degrees to prove it.

Midlands Technical College held their 2018 graduation ceremony at Colonial Life Arena, Wednesday, May 9, where a very special person made history when she walked across the stage.

Annie Dillard is 92-years-old, and the oldest person to receive a degree from the community college.

"Just wanting to do, wanting to know. To know how, and how come, and why?"

The recent graduate says her love for learning started before the first grade when she picked up the Bible.

"I was 6-years-old. My first book was the Bible. My second book was the dictionary. And I learned how to spell Mississippi. [laughter] You know, big words!"

However, it’s clear that Dillard knows much more than how to spell big words as she received her second degree, an Associate of Arts, in front of hundreds of people.

"I wanted to get to know things, I wanted to know what was going on. With this world, you have to keep up. A little slow but I'm there."

Dillard is more than just a student - she's also a mother, grandmother, and an inspiration to others.

"The more you learn, the more valuable you'll become, and you'll help other people. I think it's in the genes. [laughter]" Dillard's daughter boasted proudly.

With the same attitude as her mother, Dillard's daughter, who is a doctor, says her mother has inspired her to pursue another degree – this time 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.’ And she has...I'm so proud of her."

Dillard says her walk across the stage Thursday night is only the beginning of her path to more knowledge.

"I didn't miss a day, and I wasn't late not one day. And I...I just love school. Or - I was looking for answers so that I was able to move forward. I'm excited. Don't I look excited?"

Dillard says she plans to further continue her education in early childhood education.

The entire graduating class at the community college was quite unique this year. Not only did Dillard make history, but 50 high school students earned their associate degrees before they have even received their high school diplomas.

Congratulations to the class of 2018!

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