News about a December 2012 Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) General Educational Development (GED) graduate grabbed local and national headlines last year. Why all of the attention and accolades? Because the 85 year-old GED recipient, Lois Houselog of Dubuque, became one of the oldest graduates to earn her high school equivalency diploma in the College’s history. Her story of determination to realize a dream of earning her GED shines forth the lesson that we are never too old to learn.
I decided to get my GED quite suddenly. I had thought about it for many years, and I decided last summer to get it.
“I decided to get my GED quite suddenly. I had thought about it for many years, and I decided last summer to get it,” Houselog said to the audience at the graduation ceremony on Dec. 12, 2012. “I’ve been in the GED program at NICC since October, and I’m really happy that I earned the degree,” she said.
Houselog said that her accomplishment is proof that everyone can learn and go back to school for an education at any age, although the GED test offers challenges of its own. “The math part was really difficult for me at times, especially geometry, which is a subject I had never had in school,” she explained.
The octogenarian had only received a 7th grade education prior to enrolling in the College’s GED program last fall. Her story was initially broadcast on KWWL-TV and published in the Telegraph Herald daily newspaper in Dubuque. Numerous television news affiliates then carried the Houselog story in broadcasts across the country. The GED graduate received congratulatory letters from well-wishers across the U.S. and overseas.