‘Learn everything you can’: 89-year-old Quincy native earns her master’s degree

An 89-year-old Quincy woman received a special stocking stuffer this holiday season.

Joan Donovan, a Quincy native for 86 years, received her master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University on Thursday. She was unable to attend graduation with the rest of her classmates so SNHU brought the ceremony to her family home in Florida.

Donovan put off her college education in part to help raise six kids. A breast cancer survivor, a grandmother of 10, and a great-grandmother of nine, Donovan decided to pursue higher education in retirement rather than crafts or other hobbies.

Donovan earned both of her college degrees in her 80′s and intends to use her Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing degree to write a memoir.

Donovan says her message is “Learn everything you can, every day.”

She is SNHU’s eldest 2022 graduate.

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