83-Year-Old Woman Becomes Howard University’s Oldest Doctoral Graduate

by Gee NY
Dr Marie Fowler during Howard University's 2024 Graduate School Commencement Week Monday, May 6 – Saturday, May 11, 2024

“It is never too late, I want everyone to realize that,” says Marie Fowler, the 83-year-old grabbing headlines this week for making history as Howard University’s most senior doctoral graduate.

Fowler’s remarkable journey towards this achievement unfolded over three years of rigorous study at Howard University’s School of Divinity, marking her return to academia after a hiatus from 1959.

For Fowler, this pursuit wasn’t merely an academic venture but a divine calling that beckoned her back to the halls of higher learning.

Despite initial apprehensions about her ability to retain information and concerns about financial resources, Fowler drew inspiration from her parents’ struggles.

“My mom and dad were born in an era when it was illegal for them to learn to read and write,” she said, expressing her determination to honor their legacy.

Howard University’s School of Divinity, known for its fusion of spiritual teachings and scholarly inquiry, has long been committed to nurturing leaders who embody principles of truth and service.

Dean Yolanda Pierce highlighted the institution’s dedication to fostering change-makers and problem-solvers, aligning with the broader mission of Howard University.

Amidst the pandemic, the School of Divinity witnessed a shift in student aspirations, with many gravitating towards roles in social justice, policy advocacy, and nonprofit initiatives.

This evolution underscores the institution’s commitment to impactful outreach and societal change.

Fowler’s completion of divinity school equips her with profound knowledge and positions her as a beacon of inspiration. She received the recognition during Howard University’s 2024 Graduate School Commencement Week which ended on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

At 83, she serves as a living testament to the adage that it’s never too late to pursue one’s dreams, offering hope and encouragement to aspiring scholars of all ages.

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