102-Year-Old Plans to Finish Business Degree

Margaret Dunning already runs one business. Will she start another?

That remains to be seen. For now, the 102-year-old plans to head back to the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business to finish the undergraduate degree she started about 80 years ago. After she was featured in a TODAY.com article for her passion about cars, The FRAM Group (an auto products manufacturer) decided to pay her tuition.

Once she graduated from high school in 1929, Dunning began pursuing a business degree at the University of Michigan. During the Depression, she had to drop out of school to help her mother, who owned a bank and needed all the support she could get. Dunning went on to have a long career in banking.

“I’ll have to figure out just what I’ll study, but it will be in business, though — I know that,” she told TODAY. “I’m still running a business right now. … It’s a trust fund.”

Dunning still changes the oil and spark plugs on her car, a 1930 Packard 740 Roadster that she bought in 1949 and restored to mint condition.  The idea of going back to school has filled her with joy.

“I’m very, very pleased about it,” she said in the TODAY article. “I feel that I’ve been granted a few years that other people do not have, and I am really very happy that I have  this beautiful old world to live in.”

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a communications consultant and writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 102-Year-Old Plans to Finish Business Degree

  1. What a great story, thanks for posting it and have a great weekend.

  2. Really commendable and here I am complaining that I think I’m too aged to go back to school and learn some more…

    • lbstrang says:

      When you’ve been out in the real world for awhile, you tend to get more out of school once you go back. I hope you’ll find a way to make it happen.

  3. Reblogged this on thomasseamanco and commented:
    It’s never too late to pursue business dreams!

  4. winnawhiner says:

    What a very inspiring story! Lessons learned, it is never late to learn new things in life. I for one would like to go back to school but my age among other things stops me.

  5. kmpeyton says:

    It is truly humbling to hear of persons a century old still pursuing dreams and not waiting to die.
    Thank you very much.

    • lbstrang says:

      You’re welcome. With advancements in medicine and health care, people are not only living longer — they’re living better (sometimes right to the end). Still, Margaret Dunning’s story is pretty remarkable.

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