*”I had the thought of, ‘I’m too old to do this. I’m too old to go back to school and be back on campus,’ but my kids encouraged me and were there for me,” said Tyra Muhammad, a 46-year-old grandmother who returned to college nearly 30 years after she began, alongside three of her five children. Last month, all four made headlines after graduating from Grambling State University at the same time.
“People at times would think we were all siblings [on campus] together, so I appreciated that,” said Tyra, an English major who entered Grambling State as a freshman in 1994. She told “Good Morning America” that she met her husband in school and the two married at the end of Muhammad’s freshman year, when she was 19. The couple soon started their family and Muhammad paused her college career when she became pregnant and it was too hard physically to continue her classes.
Muhammad would go to become a certified nursing assistant and tried a few times to restart at Grambling State but said her studies always took second place to motherhood and she never finished her degree. Muhammad and her husband later divorced and by 2018, with her youngest child now a teenager, she was ready to go back to college. She re-enrolled at Grambling State, where three of her children were already enrolled.
Muhammad, whose children are now ages 15, 19, 22, 23 and 26, said the family got positive attention on campus because they would so often be seen together. She had at least one class with one of her children and enjoyed doing campus activities and study sessions with the others.
The Muhammad family will continue to be well-known at Grambling State because four of the family members will be returning to campus. Muhammad, who hopes to be a teacher, and her daughter are going back to school for graduate degrees, 22-year-old grad Elijah plans to continue his studies for a degree in marketing and another sibling is an undergraduate student.
Watch their story below or view here on Facebook.