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Alumni & Friends > Outstanding Alumni

Outstanding Alumni - Nola Ochs - In Memoriam

2013 Distinguished Alumnus

Nola Ochs started her college education with Dodge City Community College in 1978 taking a tennis class for fun. That was only the beginning as Ms. Ochs continued her education with DCCC, on to St. Mary of the Plains College and Fort Hays State University where she obtained her Master’s Degree.  Following are excerpts of her story in her words:

"My decision to go back to school in the summer of 1978 was prompted by a desire for fun and entertainment off the farm. When the Dodge City Community College advertised a six-weeks tennis class in the summer of 1978, I enrolled! I was pleased to be accepted as just another student by those students on the tennis court, although I was 66 years old. That fall I enrolled in an Agri-Business Marketing class. I hoped to learn how to sell our farm products more profitably.

For the next ten years I enrolled, as a part-time DCCC student, in whatever classes were of interest to me --- Composition, Public Speaking, Photography, Journalism, American History and other History classes, Western Civilization, Geology, and often a Bible Study class. I had no thought of graduating until Professor John Husband informed me that if I’d take College Algebra, I could graduate. So now, ten years after I took the tennis class, I graduated in the spring of 1988, with a degree in General Subjects. My family all came to watch me walk across the stage in the Civic Center to receive my diploma from Dodge City Jr. College, as it was called then. It was a high-point in my life!

I bought a computer in 1995, and enrolled in a couple more computer classes. My ability to use a computer was imperative, when I decided, in the fall of 2006, at age 94, to attend Fort Hays State University, to fulfill my desire to graduate from a 4-year college. I became a full-time student at Fort Hays State University in the fall of 2006. I graduated from FHSU in May of 2007 with a Bachelors Degree, majoring in History. In May of 2010, I received a Masters Degree, also majoring in History.  As a post-graduate student, I was honored when I was chosen to work as an assistant to a History Professor. I was employed by the college! My graduation from Fort Hays State University was another great celebration!

I have one more goal to reach. The Bible tells me to “Study to show thyself approved.” That sounds like another comprehensive exam! So I am studying by writing Book Reviews of Genesis and several New Testament books. Like Michelangelo of old, I am “still learning"!"

Nola Ochs's story is truly an inspiration for all. Ms. Ochs passed away on December 9, 2016 at the age of 105 years old. Her determination to achieve academic success is an inspiration. 

We are proud that Ms. Ochs chose Dodge City Community College and are very proud of her completion of her Bachelors degree at 95 years old with a 3.7 GPA and her Masters degree at age 98. Ms. Ochs's academic accomplishments caught the attention of the world and she is currently a Guinness record holder as the world's oldest college graduate. 

Ms. Ochs believed that everyone should take advantage of life's opportunities and not wait until tomorrow. Are you inspired? We are. Come to Dodge City Community College and inspire a new generation today!

"I don't dwell on my age. It might limit what I can do. As long as I have my mind and health, age is just a number.” Nola Ochs