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100-year-old great grandma graduated from UofT on this day

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Selma Plaut decided to go back to school when she was 88 years old. (CBC Digital Archives)


If you know students receiving their hard-earned diplomas today, let them know they share their graduation date with a very special granny.

On June 11, 1990, a 100-year-old great-grandmother named Selma Plaut received an honorary degree from the University of Toronto.

Plaut walked across the stage alongside much younger graduates on this day 23 years ago.

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After enrolling at the Toronto university at the age 88, the soft-spoken woman completed courses in theology, history and French.


Plaut, who fled from the Nazis and moved to North America at the end of the Second World War, had pledged to remain "active in many things."

She told the Toronto Star in 1987 that she wanted to find a "new world of thinking apart from the day-to-day ordinary thinking."

Plaut died in March 1993, just a few weeks shy of her 103rd birthday.

Seniors staying active

Plaut isn't the only senior who has embarked on a big journey late in life. Earlier this year, CBC News launched a series on the lives of active Canadians aged 60 and older called The New Retirement.

Throughout the week of April 15, we published stories on seniors doing remarkable things in their so-called twilight years. The series included an interactive piece about six Canadians who reinvented themselves after the age of 60, and a feature article about seniors who love social media.

Here, too, is a photo gallery published as part of the series.




Do you know anyone who completed a major project or goal later in life? Share your stories in the comments below.

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