AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Hundreds of Augusta University students are preparing to walk across the stage to receive their degrees. But for one student, tomorrow isn’t just graduation day – she’ll also celebrate her 80th birthday.

Theodosia Williams has had a life long thirst for knowledge and pursued her education in stages, even with people discouraging her along the way.

“They said you could not transfer to another school because you would not be able to keep up,” she said.

Williams left high school without graduating, eventually earning her GED. But she never stopped yearning for a higher education.

Theodosia Williams’ art work. Courtesy Augusta University.

“And I just put education on hold. I got my family. I got other careers. I did other things. But back in my mind I knew I could do it. And I knew that one day I would do it.”

Williams joined the Army reserve, later being called to active duty and served for 27 years as a nurse.

“I was 30 years old when I went to basic training. And it was a vacation. Because I left back a husband and four children,” laughed Williams.

Once her children and grandchildren graduated and began their lives, Williams decided it was time to finally go to college.

Williams works on art project at AU. Courtesy Augusta University.

Friday, she will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in art, something she’s had a talent and passion for most of her life.
At AU Williams’ professors encouraged her to develop her talent and helped her discover a love of sculpting.

“I love to play in clay. I love to paint clay. I love clay. Ever since I used to play in mud when I was a kid.”

Spring commencement ceremonies at Augusta University will all be held at the Augusta Marriott Convention Center.

The graduate hooding and commencement ceremony will be held Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Undergraduate ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday.

Photojournalist: Will Baker.