88-year-old Georgia man graduates from college
On Friday, 88-year-old Horace Sheffield achieved his lifetime goal: he graduated from college.
The Georgia man received his diploma from Shorter University as he walked the stage with his tutor, Amanda Brannock.
Sheffield attended the university from 1960 to 1965 but had to drop out to raise his daughters. "I dropped out with 115 hours," he told ABC News.
"At that time a piece of paper on a wall didn't mean that much to me. I had my education and my brain and my heart, and I put them all to good use. But 60 years later I wanted that degree."
He went back to school after reading an article that he could take courses for free. Shorter did not charge him tuition -- all he had to pay for was a $200 graduation fee.
Sheffield says without his tutor, Brannock, he would not have graduated. She would give him assignments, expected good grades and would type his papers on a computer after Sheffield wrote them out by hand.
"I lived with Horace more than I lived with my own family the last two years. We've kept each other going. He's inspired me to keep going and I hope I inspired him to keep going," Sheffield told ABC.
See photos of Horace Sheffield
"Graduation was one of the happiest days of my life," she continued, "I cried like a baby. It was one of the most precious moments and I couldn't have been more proud even if it was my own degree."
"A man 88 years old don't have an opportunity to walk across the stage many times in life," Sheffield said.
Sheffield received Bachelor of Science in Christian Studies, the first graduate of that online program.
Photographer Donna Flournoy offered to do a grad shoot for free after learning about his story on Facebook; his photos have received hundreds of likes on Facebook.
His family couldn't be prouder. "He's smart as a whip, I'm not even lying," Sheffield's granddaughter, Jill Brazier, told ABC.
"These are pictures we will cherish forever," she continued. "This is a huge accomplishment for him. And something he wanted so bad. And for him to do it with all his family there was amazing. He walked across the stage and the crowd went crazy. We were all in tears because we knew this was what he wanted."