Omaha Grandmother Graduates College at Age 76

Posted at 4:43 PM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-21 17:43:13-04

Almost sixty years after high school, one Omaha woman joins the ranks of college graduates this year.

Sunday, at age 76, Marty Nastase, usually dependent on a walker and oxygen, walked freely across the stage with the help of two of her granddaughters to receive her Bachelor’s degree in general studies.

In 1958, Nastase graduated from Mercy High School and went on to get her Associate’s degree at the College of St. Mary.  After that…

"Well, I raised a family.  I had six children.  And then I worked as a secretary at a school for several years,” reminisced Nastase.

But in the back of her mind, for over 50 years, was the dream she hadn't fulfilled.


"My goal in life was always to finish and get my degree. And I found out if you were over 65 and had gone there before, that you were able to take a class for free,” said Nastase.


"She came back to the college six years ago and took one or two classes a semester and now has graduated."


Nastase received a standing ovation as she returned to her seat.

Nastase’s family was behind her the whole time she was in school.  She celebrated her 50th anniversary, she lost her husband in 2015, welcomed a great grand baby, and even did homework with her grandkids.

"It was fun because I was taking art history classes at the same time as her.  So, we got to compare our classes and study together,” said granddaughter Megan Didulo.  She and cousin Alexa Rodriguez are both in college now.

They say their grandmother is an inspiration with fans in colleges across the country.

"Down in Kansas where I go to school, everyone is really proud of her and her resilience and how she just never gave up,” said Didulo.

Mary encouraged all six of her kids to go to college and she's making sure her grandkids follow in her footsteps.

"If you wanna go, go.  It doesn't matter your age.  You can learn at any age."