70-year-old Raleigh grandmother graduates from college

Fuller (left) at the graduation ceremony Monday night. Photo by Amy Cutler/CBS North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — At age 70 most people are ramping down their careers, but Shirley Fuller isn’t most people.

“College was meant for me because that’s where I wanted to be. What I wanted to do. Wanted I needed to show my children and grandchildren,” Fuller said.

While in high school, Fuller got married. Two babies quickly followed.

It took her some time, but she went back and finished high school at the top of her class.

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Fuller was one of 10 kids — and the only girl.

She says she made a promise to her mother that she would get her college degree.

“My mother passed two years and so, this graduation is in her memory. I even have on her old stockings,” said Fuller, of Raleigh.

“I’m just so proud of her, I really am,” said Shirlette Leary, Fuller’s daughter.

Fuller has her family’s full support. Four generations of the family were in the crowd Monday night.

“It’s great. I’m telling you because she’s a very, very smart person and she tries so hard,” said Lizzie Hart, Fuller’s sister-in-law.

Fuller was among 900 Wake Tech students graduating.

She received her associate’s in business administration.

Fuller said that she’s a recovering addict and she hopes to open a recovery house for women.

For that, he plans to go back to school to get a second degree in criminal justice.

“Don’t ever tell yourself no. Let somebody or something else tell you no in your lifetime. You grab a hold of whatever Ferris wheel is going around and you just hold tight and take it one at a time,” Fuller said.

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