Among Today's College Grads is a 94 Year Old - NBC Bay Area

Among Today's College Grads is a 94 Year Old



    Among Today's College Grads is a 94 Year Old

     It's never too late to earn your college degree. Just ask Hazel Soares.
    The 94-year-old San Leandro woman was among roughly 500 undergraduates to pick up their diplomas at the Mills College commencement on Saturday.

    "It's taken me quite a long time because I've had a busy life," said Soares. "I'm finally achieving it, and it makes me feel really good."

     Soares has six children and more than 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  "We are really amazed and very proud of my mom," said Regina Hungerford, Soares' youngest child. "The biggest thing that we can all learn is that we're never too old."

    Born in Richmond in 1915, Soares received a special congratulations from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who delivered the keynote speech at the women's college in Oakland.

    "I'd like to pay special tribute to one member of our class today: Hazel Soares. As many of you know, Hazel is receiving her undergraduate degree today at the age of 94. As Mills says, 'one destination, many paths,'" said Pelosi.

    Pelosi said during Soares life that had been 17 Speakers of the House, noting that she herself was the first woman to hold the office.

    The art history major now hopes to find work as a docent at a San Francisco Bay area museum.

    Soares is believed to be the world's second oldest person to graduate from college.

    According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Nola Ochs of Kansas became the oldest when she graduated from Fort Hays State University three years ago at age 95.