At 84, Great-Grandmother Earns College Degree From New Jersey City University

JERSEY CITY, NJ (WCBS 880) – At 84, great-grandmother Evelyn Malzberg from Jersey City is finally a college graduate.

It took three decades for Malzberg to earn her diploma. She wanted to go to college after graduating high school in the 1940s, but her mother pushed marriage over education.

“She has to get married by the time she’s 20 and no man is going to marry her if she’s smarter than he is,” Malzberg said her mother told her.

 WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports: Great-Grandmother Reaches Goal

So she married, became a secretary and raised two children. Then in her 50s, she started taking one class per semester, majoring in creative writing. But she says it wasn’t always easy.

“I was up until 3am many times,” she told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “I ran into a lot of trouble but with algebra, that was point when I felt well, I’ve had it. I don’t think I’m going to continue.”

But she did and after 30 years of patience and perseverance, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from New Jersey City University.

“Never give up, no matter how difficult it is,” she said. “If you have a goal or a dream that you want to reach, pursue it.”

So what’s next for the college grad? She plans to volunteer at the university counseling struggling students.

“I say to these students no matter what problems you’re facing, no matter how difficult you think your life is, don’t give up,” said Malzberg.

Do you think it’s ever too  late to go back to school? Let us know in our comments section below:

More from Sean Adams
  • gwen

    no, it’s never too late to achieve/attain a diploma or a degree. my mom earned her GED @ 64yrs old. her life was similar to this woman. you married early & certain situations didn’t allow your dreams to materialize. years ago people were much more dedicated to whatever path one’s life took. today most people are all over the board, not knowing structural management of lifestyles. bottom line, hold on to those dreams & when the hour arrives, your future can see the past return.

  • James

    It is inspirational, but only because it’s so personal. Acheiving a life-long or short term goal through trials and tribulations is always heart-warming and special. I only hope that Ms. Malztberg’s ambitions didn’t prevent a borderline student from gaining admission or financial aid. It is still a great story….

    • Geri

      James, your logic applies to everyone admitted to college, and sadly, even in the face of your praise, it assumes that her achievement is of little value other than to herself. Please re-read and note that she is already using her ability to contribute to society in a positive way.

  • patty

    such an inspitational story. She is such a motivation…Kudos Ms. Evelyn

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live