Grandpa, aged 88, graduates college with Granddaughter after 70 years of first enrolling

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Texas college student, 23 years old, said that she was “overcome with emotion”When she was 88 years old, she was standing on the stage with her grandfather when the pair graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio. 

“Everything was silent. I didn’t hear any clapping or applause but I was told that the whole stadium erupted,” Melanie Salazar, told, “Good Morning America”The Dec. 11 ceremony was held at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

The ceremony was a major accomplishment for both, but for Salazar’s grandfather, Rene Neira, it was a life’s dream that took him nearly 70 years to complete. 

Neira enrolled for college his first time in the 1950s. He had been working towards his bachelor’s degree but fell in love, got married and started a family, Salazar said, The New York Post reported

Salazar received her bachelor’s of arts in communications. Her great-grandpa received his degree in economics.

Salazar stated that they both attended the University of Texas at San Antonio together.

She said between her grandpa’s role as a husband, a father of five and a community activist, as well as his job at a local bank, he would take classes.

Although they never had a class together, the pair studied in the library together, carpooled together and on some days, have lunch together. Salazar also assisted her grandpa in remote classes. 

The pair of graduates, who were both dressed in matching blue caps & gowns, took a group photo.

“I’m so proud of my grandpa and I’m so thankful I was able to have this moment, this memory, with him,” Salazar said.