Donzella Washington, 80, graduated from Alabama A&M University on Dec. 6 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Not only did she graduate magna cum laude, but she also received a 4.0 GPA in her final semester.

“I want to inspire and motivate others that age is not a barrier,” Washington said. “And I want to emphasize the life between the dash.”

Along with her academic accomplishments, Washington’s big moment was monumental as she made history as the oldest graduate of Alabama A&M in their 144-year history.

Washington, a Los Angeles native, said that she dedicates her degree to her husband of nearly 50 years. “I wanted to finish in his honor,” she told ABC News.

In 2010, her mother died, followed by her sister and husband’s death, which all happened in a three-year span. Washington said that her motivation behind going back to school was her husband, Jeff, who was one of her biggest supporters.