Grandma, 85, Graduates from High School with Honorary Diploma — 67 Years After Would-Be Graduation Date

"I’m thankful," Shirley Smith said after receiving the honor

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of a graduation cap and a diploma.


A stock image of a graduation cap and a diploma.

An elderly woman from Georgia is officially a high school graduate!

Sixty-seven years after her original would-be graduation date, Shirley Smith graduated from high school earlier this month with an honorary degree, Fox News reported.

"I’m thankful," Smith, 85, told the outlet after the special occasion. "I think it’s an honor, and I think it’s a blessing."

"I’m really appreciative, and I’m really thankful to God," she added. "I always try to figure out, 'What do people see in me?' I draw people, no matter what color they are, who they are — I just draw people."

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of graduates.


A stock image of graduates.

Related: Commencement Speaker Brings Duffel Bags of Cash and Gives Graduates $1,000 Each — with a Catch!

According to Fox News, Smith grew up in Wilmington, N.C., before she and her family relocated to Somerville, N.J.

After she completed the 9th grade, Smith told her father that she "didn’t want to go to school" and he made her get a job, the outlet reported.

Working at places, including a dry cleaner and a pocketbook factory, per Fox News, Smith later got married and started a family.

She told the outlet that she had considered going back to school over the years but never did given that her family took priority.

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As a mom, Smith instilled the importance of education in her kids, who later did the same when they had children of their own.

She has since watched her kids and grandchildren complete their educations at academic institutions, including Texas A&M, Montclair University, California State University and University of Tampa, among others, per Fox News.

"My nana never missed a high school or college graduation for any of her children or grandchildren," Brianna Robinson, a granddaughter of Smith's, told the outlet.

"I couldn’t be more honored and inspired. She always taught us to chase our dreams," she added.

<p> Foto de DNY59. E+. Getty Images.</p> A stock image of a diploma.

Foto de DNY59. E+. Getty Images.

A stock image of a diploma.

Related: Michigan Mom Tucks 10-Day-Old Daughter Inside Gown While Graduating College: 'Kept Her with Me' 

Smith learned that she would be getting her honorary degree on her 85th birthday, according to Fox News.

Per the outlet, Eric Finch, the chief of police of Montezuma Police Department, was the one who decided it was an honor she deserved.

Tan Galia Robinson, another one of Smith's family members, told Fox News that Finch was inspired by the heartfelt words spoken at her recent birthday celebration.

"He felt like it was robbery to not give her her diploma," she explained.

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