Becky Griffin recently completed her master’s degree from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, a goal she has had for the past 30 years. Her daughters Allison (left) and Mady (right) are also UGA graduates. They are shown with Griffin (center) by The Arch on the UGA campus. Traditional dictates that students should not walk through The Arch until they have graduated.

At 54, Becky Griffin was the oldest University of Georgia student on the Griffin campus to be awarded a degree this fall, but that fact only fueled her drive to succeed.

After putting her graduate studies on hold for 30 years, Griffin juggled a full-time job and put thousands of miles on her car to complete her master’s degree. The mother of two adult daughters, both of whom are UGA graduates, Griffin was encouraged to finish her degree by Kris Braman, a former UGA Griffin researcher who now heads the UGA Department of Entomology.

“Deciding to go back to school after 30 years was a huge decision. When I told Dr. Kris Braman why I didn’t have a master’s degree, she said, ‘Well, we need to fix that.’ She encouraged me to apply, helped me map out a plan and served as my major professor throughout this process. She was the first person on my team,” Griffin said.