Donzella Washington, 80, earns degree

Back to Article
Back to Article

Donzella Washington, 80, earns degree

Rocket City Now

Rocket City Now

Rocket City Now

Shravani Daptardar, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Eighty-year-old, Donzella Washington, who graduated from Alabama University, wants to inspire and tell everyone that age has nothing to do with anything even if it means graduating school or being the University’s oldest graduate. 

Washington dedicated her graduation to her late husband who she would have made very proud since she graduated with a 3.64 GPA overall and a 4.0 in her final semester. 

Washington got her bachelor’s degree in social work in early December at Alabama University. It was something she always wanted since graduating from high school in 1957, but someone told her in order to go to college, she’ll have to write a book which she didn’t have confidence in doing. This misinformation made her put her dream of being a social worker aside for many years. 

Before Washington, chose to return to school, she and her husband fostered 32 children together in California, where their home is. She worked at a police department and a bank for six years before becoming a stay at home mom for fifteen years. 

But after her husband’s death, she decided to move to Alabama where her daughter lived. That’s when she started pursuing her degree again and started taking college courses at Lawson State Community College. She took speech classes to help her with severe stuttering. 

After Washington earned her bachelor’s degree she moved on to working towards up to Associate Degree in 2017 at the age of 78. But Washington did not stop quitting there and still believes to this day she can obtain a master’s degree if she keeps working hard. 

Her goal is to also volunteer in places like nursing homes and help others. 

Though Washington is old she is always determined and motivated in completing her education, inspiring many people. 

“Even though there was a lot of tears and late-night studying at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, I was determined,” Washington Fox.

She had a dream to which she was committed and knew she had the guts to finish college by believing in herself. Washington’s daughter also told Fox her mother had “commitment and strength and perseverance and dedication and compassion and passion.”

Washington hopes her accomplishment and hard work will encourage others to never give up on their dreams no matter what obstacles they face even if it means old age.