I'm so happy to introduce you, virtually, to Marion Thomas.  As you'll soon come to find out, she's filled with grit, wit, heart, and soul.  This great grandmother from Brick, and former resident of Toms River, received a surprise from the team on NBC's Today with Hoda & Jenna this past Friday.

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The surprise was a cake...but it was so much more.  The 7-minute feature was a celebration of Marion's journey as an adult learner and the news that she had just graduated from Georgian Court University, fulfilling her life-long dream at 90-years-old!  That's not a typo, yes 90.

Yes, I think we should back up a bit here to 1998.  Marion had retired with her husband John to Toms River and she thought it would be pretty cool to go back to school.  She enrolled at 67 and began classes with 18-year-olds.  Over the next 10 years, she tallied 113 credits and was well on her way to achieving her Bachelor's degree.  Sadly, her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she turned her attention to providing care and support for him.

Fast forward to late 2020, and after having moved to the Hackensack Meridian Rehabilitation Center in Brick, Marion was invited to a Zoom birthday party with friends and family.  Hiding in plain sight were a couple of representatives from Georgian Court University including President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. The President shared the news, that they had granted her a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.  Displaying quick wit and a touch of humor, Marion responded with, "it's about time."

More great news, Marion has been invited to receive her diploma at the school's commencement this May AND a scholarship fund has been created, in her name, to support nontraditional students.  This all makes my heart very happy.  Enjoy all the feels in this video.

If you can't view the embedded video on your device, try clicking here.

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