81-year-old woman graduates with honors from University of Akron

  • Dora Clark graduated from the University of Akron at 81 years old last week.
  • Clark first started taking classes at the University of Akron in 1979.
  • She wants to continue learning and earn a certificate in communications, with a possibility of also pursuing seminary school.

AKRON, Ohio — Dora Clark never planned on graduating from college. 

She just wanted to keep learning. 

The 81-year-old Clark went to a segregated high school in Virginia, graduating at a time when college options for Black students like her were slim to none. 

But in 1979, after moving to Ohio, she started taking classes at the University of Akron

After years of moving in and out of school, Dora Clark graduated from college last weekend. Not only did she graduate, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, so I figured let me just keep it active as I get older,” Clark said. 

Clark retired from a career as a receptionist and a stenographer, but at one point thought she would be a nurse. She took a few general education and science courses, but then dropped out.