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Cameron University Class of 2011 graduates

Lawton_For one graduating student going through Friday night's ceremony at Cameron University, coming to the United States, and going back to college to finish her education after forty years is a dream come true for her and her family.

At 72 years old, Leila Ghosn is the oldest student in her graduating class, having earned a Bachelor's degree in language arts, with honors, no less.

Born in Lebanon, Leila grew up in a culture where education was not the forefront of young girls' lives.

"In my culture, girls get married early. My mother always told me 'Oh, I wish I could go back to school," Ghosn said.

That's just what she did.

When her brother, Sam, offered to pay for her tuition at Cameron, she knew it was a dream come true.

"When I got married, I stopped my education, but I proceeded with my kids. I was always in this ambiance of education and was helping my kids. I always so badly wanted to go back to school to finish. It was my dream," Ghosn said.

Sam couldn't be more proud for his sister.

"Sometimes I'd invite her to go on trips with me and my wife, and she said, 'No, I have to study.' So she kind of really enjoyed what she's doing," Sam Ghosn said.

Leila's biggest challenge--technology.

"It was my biggest obstacle, but I'm good at printing.  I'm slow but I can manage."

Leila feels although her age and a forty-year absence from school may sound challenging, she has never let that get in her way.  With inspiration of mother's memory and words of encouragement from her family, she knew she could do it.

"It's exciting to me. Hard work pays off and I feel I've fulfilled my dream and I'm happy because everybody around me appreciates what I have done."

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