Pat Ormond took her first college class in 1978 but dropped out after one semester.
Pat and Melody are proving that age is no hindrance to learning. Pat Ormond, 74, received her bachelor’s degree last month along with her granddaughter Melody, 22. Pat and Melody graduated on November 20 as part of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) graduating 2020 class.“I always brag since she started going to school with me,” Melody said, according to the university, reports Inside Edition. “I’ve told people, like every class, all my friends, ‘Oh, Nana, she goes to school, my Nana, my Nana, did you hear that? And everybody’s always like, ‘Oh wow, that’s so cool.’”
Pat has always had an eye out for education from 60 years ago! The soon-to-be 75-year old grandma took computer classes at a technical school in Atlanta in 1963 and pursued college-level courses at Kennesaw State University in 1978. She had to leave college after a semester as she ended up moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee. But her passion for learning continued. In the '80s and '90s, she took a few courses at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Pat spent the next few decades working as an accountant and raising a family, including Melody's father. “The money for the classes had to be used for classes only after living expenses and the children's expenses were taken care of,” she explained. “This meant there was very little left for my education.”
74-Year-Old Grandmother and 22-Year-Old Granddaughter Graduate From College Together https://t.co/V6pVrIQhGD— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) December 12, 2020
When her granddaughter transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in her sophomore year, she convinced her nana to join her. “It was a little difficult [to convince her], sort of a resistance to change and just the generally typical idea that, ‘I don’t want to go to college. I’m too old for college,’” Melody said. “And I was, ‘That’s a lie. Of all the women in our family, you inspire us to know that we can do anything at any age.’” Melody pursued a degree in psychology, while her grandmother went on to study anthropology, and even graduated with honors! “I have my whole life ahead of me,” Melody said. “Nana has seen and experienced a lot of things, and I would like to be able to say that when I’m older.”
"We are so proud to have graduates like Melody Ormond and her grandmother, Pat Ormond, in the UTC class of 2020," Steven R. Angle, UTC Chancellor, told CNN. "Together, they personify the determination, commitment and love of lifelong learning we encourage in every UTC graduate." Pat hopes that her accomplishment will inspire other unconventional students who want to get their degrees. "Learning never stops," Pat said. "That's something that my father instilled in me when I was younger. No matter what you do, learning never stops. Even if it's auditing a few classes, there's always that option."
Many graduation ceremonies look different in the time of COVID-19. But for Melody Ormond, it looked different because of the classmate who graduated alongside her: Her grandmother, 75-year-old Pat Ormond. https://t.co/KUXo3T4rwW— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) December 6, 2020
Pat isn't letting her age slow her down and is even looking forward to another degree... this time, a bachelor's in history. Melody is interested in getting a master's in clinical psychology so she can become a counselor. She's in no hurry though. Her grandma is living proof that there's no need to rush. Melody said, her grandmother will be her driving force. “She’s inspired me to sort of take my time. I have my whole life ahead of me,” she said. “It’s not inspiring me to be lazy, but just to enjoy my life because I know that I have a life to live. I don’t have to do it all now. Nana has seen and experienced a lot of things, and I would like to be able to say that when I’m older.” People on the internet have been coming together praising the grandmother-granddaughter duo for truly being inspiring and reminding everyone that age shouldn't let them stop themselves from achieving what they want in life. ginastafford1 shared their story on Twitter, writing: Before Monday gets away, here’s some #MondayMotivation for you. So proud of these two new #UTC grads, and that their story is being shared with the nation. chuck4congress added: This is terrific! Congratulations to both Pat and Melody on graduating from @UTChattanooga
together - truly memorable.