Graduating at age 89 makes Brampton resident oldest to receive degree at York


The oldest person to graduate from York University will turn 90 in July, and will be attending Convocation to receive her degree in Women’s Studies, a process she started in 1978.

Alma Kocialek has become a media sensation, being featured in the Toronto Star, the CBC and the Brampton Guardian, among many other outlets that mentioned her accomplishment.

The Star conveyed that Ms. Kocialek is dynamic and that she didn’t just teach younger students — she became friends with them. “We’d sit and giggle and laugh,” Kocialek said. “It kept me young too.”

The CBC came to York's campus to connect with her as well, and Kocialek spoke of how she persevered, "Sometimes I would come back in the winter, it would be dark and my car would be covered in snow and I would spend 15 minutes clearing snow off my car."

Kocialek celebrated her accomplishment at a lunch with staff at York University last week. (CBC Photo)

The Brampton Guardian also profiled Kocialek, a "spunky senior," who headed back to school after nearly three decades. This would have been intimidating to most, but the  Bramptonian attended several evening and night classes in addition to the day ones, in summer, fall and winter.

“I want to live life to the fullest,” Ms. Kocialek said. “My advice to people is forget the past, you can’t do anything about it anyway.”

Read the full articles on the CBC website and in the Toronto Star and the Brampton Guardian.