85-year-old receives her diploma from FIU: “Be inspired and let that drive you”

MIAMI – At 85 years old, it’s a new chapter for Arlyne Frankel.

“It’s overwhelming and joyous. It’s like I’m sitting back and enjoying it,” said Frankel.

Tuesday, she walked across the stage and received her college diploma from Florida International University, a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Arts, Sciences & Education.

She said it has been quite a journey.

“There is a song, a time for this and a time for that. Well, in my life the time was when I turned 80 years old, I started school. It took me five years to complete two years and every moment of those five years was glorious,” she said.

Frankel told us she began her college career like many people at 18, but barely completed her two-year degree. Life happened, she worked various jobs, started a family and eventually became a grandmother.

Then the time for her was right. She decided to go back to school and finish what she started more than 60 years ago.

“That’s my legacy. They can tell their children, and their children can tell their children, and it can be a legacy for all members of our family,” said Frankel.

Frankel says through diagnostic testing she learned the academic struggles she was faced were related to a previously undiagnosed learning disability. She told us she hopes to be a true testament that it’s never too late to achieve your goals.

“Be inspired and let that drive you. Let that inspiration say, you know, in my time I can do it. I can do it,” said Frankel.