85-Year-Old Civil Rights Icon Earns ASU Degree

An 85-year-old woman whose name has become synonymous with justice and civil rights is one of several hundred students who will receive their degrees on Saturday, May 9 during ASU’s 291st Commencement Exercises
Jean Ellis “Jeannie” Graetz grew up on her family’s farm outside of East Springfield, Penn., where the workdays stretched out like nearby Lake Erie. “My sisters and I grew and sold vegetables – tomatoes, corn, potatoes, most everything really, and we had chickens. We worked,” Mrs. Graetz recalls. “My father was in the concrete business, but he called himself a farmer. He never got any sons; so, we were his boys.”



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