‘Never let your dreams die’: Woman graduates Northeast Lakeview College at 97 years young

Hazel Feldman received remaining college credits from life experiences to earn honorary degree

SAN ANTONIO – A nonagenarian walked the stage at Northeast Lakeview College (NLC) earlier this week after finally receiving her Associate of Arts degree.

Hazel Feldman accepted her honorary degree on Wednesday during the NLC Commencement at 97 years young.

Veronica Garcia, President of Northeast Lakeview College said during the ceremony that Feldman is receiving the college’s first-ever honorary degree.

“Her advocacy has inspired her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren to attend college, and between all of them — they have achieved over 47 degrees and counting,” Garcia said before calling Feldman to the podium.

During her acceptance speech, Feldman said it had always been her desire to earn a college degree.

She concluded her speech by saying, “to all my fellow graduates, hearken to these words from a 97-year-old lady. Regardless of any adversity that may come your way — dream big and never let your dreams die.”

Watch Feldman’s introduction and speech in the video player above.

Feldman previously spoke with KSAT in April.

“I graduated high school in 1943, just a couple of years ago,” she quipped.

She said she was taking one course at a time but worried she might not finish so she asked the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees if life experiences could count as credit toward a degree.

“I’ve done a lot in my life as far as work, and I’ve done a lot of business, lots of sales work, lots of representation,” Feldman told KSAT.

The board of trustees accepted the life experiences as credit and awarded her an honorary Associate of Arts degree.

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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