82-Year-Old Grandpa Goes Back to School, Becomes Classmates With Granddaughter
The 82-year-old returned to school to complete the last class he needs to get his associate's degree in economics. He told Buzzfeed News that he had attended St. Mary's University in the '50s, but left after getting married and starting a family. But after Rene's wife died in 2009, he decided it was time to finally graduate. After he completes his associate's degree, Rene plans to get his bachelor's at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Even though Melanie will only share one semester at college with her grandpa, she's making the most of being able to learn alongside her "best friend." She told Buzzfeed that they sometimes meet for lunch and head to their classes together. (How adorable are they?!) "It's been pretty awesome. I know it's only going to be for one semester, but I'm going to cherish that while I can," she said.
After Melanie posted a picture of her and her grandpa on their first day at college, the post quickly went viral, and Rene's determination has become an inspiration to many. But no one is more inspired by his story than his own granddaughter. "It makes me realize the importance of getting an education like my grandpa…so I can accomplish something great like him," she said.
Speaking to Buzzfeed about his newfound viral fame, Rene said, "I'm not trying to inspire Melanie, or anybody. I'm glad that's what it's doing, but I'm just doing what I've always wanted to do."