Graduating Grandma Garners Top Honor of Valedictorian

May 14, 2019
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Graduating Grandma Garners Top Honor of Valedictorian

For a 72-year-old grandmother, graduating from college with a bachelor's degree from The University of New Mexico was "better late than never." To top that off, Rigina Wright also graduated at the top of her class as Valedictorian with a 4.067 GPA.

Though she initially attended UNM in 1965 at the more traditional college freshman age of 18, Wright was not ready to take on the work and dropped out of college after 3 years with a sub-2.0 GPA. Instead, she got married, had a daughter, and later earned an associate’s degree as a registered nurse. After the passing of her husband, she adopted a positive mindset to "move forward" and went back to school. Wright says she is grateful for UNM, a place that she says "welcomes anybody to learn" and where she never felt out of place. In her commencement speech, she encouraged her fellow graduates to "keep on going."

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