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(CNN)It's never too late to get a college diploma.
And 74-year-old Pat Ormond is living proof of this. She received a bachelor's degree in anthropology 42 years after taking her first college class in 1978.
But the Ormond family had another graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) that same day: Ormond's 22-year-old granddaughter, Melody.
"I always knew that I was going to graduate from college," said Melody Ormond. "I just never knew that my nana was also going to be there."
Pat, who turns 75 this month, took her first college class at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta. After one semester, she dropped out to move to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
She spent the next several decades working as an accountant and raising a family, including Melody's father. And while she did take an occasional class at UTC, she says her family continued to encourage her to go back to finish her degree, especially after she retired.
She relented when her granddaughter decided to transfer as a sophomore to study pyschology at UTC after a year at Berea College in Kentucky. They both enrolled at UTC with enough college credits to make graduating together a possibility.
For Pat and Melody, this also meant taking classes online during the pandemic.
"It's definitely more difficult, and I prefer in-class," Pat told CNN. "I really enjoyed the discussions and being able to interact with so many people from different backgrounds. Not having those people around made it harder."
Before the pandemic, Pat and Melody didn't have any classes together. Melody jokes that her grandmother preferred to take classes in the morning while she would often sleep in and take her's in the afternoon. But they did occasionally bump into one another while on campus.
"One of her classes would end at the same time mine would," Melody said. "I would see her and just scream and yell 'nana!' until I got her attention."