A Tampa grandmother is celebrating a personal milestone -- graduating from college.

  • Debra Morris, 60, graduating from Hillsborough Community College
  • Morris said she went back to school to set example
  • Morris will deliver a commencement speech

Debra Morris, 60, will graduate from Hillsborough Community College on May 5. It's an accomplishment four decades in the making.
Like many in her generation, Morris didn't go straight to college after high school. She enrolled in a technical school, she got a job and then raised a family instead.
But four years ago, Morris decided to go to Hillsborough Community College for an associate degree. She said she did it for her grandchildren.
"We believe in setting an example," said Morris. "We teach by example, and how could I tell my grandchildren you need to go further, you need to work harder and I wasn't?"

"I felt like I wasn't living up to the words I was preaching," she said. "So you have to practice what you preach."
Morris won't just be walking on stage and collecting a diploma on Graduation Day. She's set to deliver a commencement speech.

"It's going to be a big emotional moment," Morris said. "I'll cry a lot."
After graduating from HCC, Morris said she will continue her education at University of South Florida.