Woman graduates after putting college on hold 50 years

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Graduation is the beginning of many big dreams, but for Mary Overcash graduation is a dream she had for nearly five decades.

"I graduated from high school in '65," Overcash said.

After high school, she went to nursing school for a year then spent two years at Mankato State. Her studies came to a halt when she was charmed by Oscar Overcash. They married, had three kids and life just happened. She always wondered what having a degree would feel like. Two years ago, she stopped thinking and started doing.

"I sat up in bed and I said, 'Oh, my goodness, I can go to school,'" she said.

She enrolled in Bethel University's adult education program and declared a communications degree. At 67 nothing was going to stop her.

"I'm not going to worry about how old I look or how funny I can be," she said.

Overcash didn't get there alone. Her husband, Oscar Overcash proofread her papers and even stayed up to review movies for class with her.

"There was one in particular when we were up until almost three in the morning," laughed Oscar.

Those long nights paid off.

"She only got one B. Everything else was As," Jennifer Leslie, Overcash's oldest child said.

Overcash graduated on Sunday with her college degree. She will be the first to tell you the real lesson she learned is no dream is too big to reach for.


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