Grandson graduated from the University of Texas with terminally ill grandfather

Along with granddaughter Melanie Salazar, 87-year-old Rene Neria took the stage at their university graduation ceremony to receive their degrees last month. (UTSA)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KVEO) – A grandson and grandfather duo crossed the stage at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s inaugural ceremony last month, proving it’s never too late to reach your goals.

(Source: UTSA)

Rene Neria, 87, started his educational journey over half a century ago when he started going to St. Louis. Mary’s University in the 1950s. But he put his education on hold when he got married and started a family, granddaughter Melanie Salazar said BuzzFeed News in 2016.

Neira’s interest in taking a degree never waned, although he did not return to school until the spring of 2016, several years after his wife died.

Along with Salazar, Neria enrolled at Palo Alto College. In 2016, the two also got their eyes open for the internet when Salazar shared a post on social media expressing how proud she was that her then 82-year-old grandfather returned to school.

(Source: UTSA)

Moving to UTSA, the duo worked toward their goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. And on December 11, 2021, Salazar pushed her grandfather across the stage to receive her degree in recognition while receiving her BA in Communication.

“Rene is terminally ill and in hospice now, but he is only a few points away from getting his bachelor’s degree in economics,” the university explained of Neria’s honors in a Facebook post they shared in December.

However, Neria’s illness did not stop him from enjoying the special moment with his grandson. Also, the participants at the ceremony went crazy when Neira and Salazar took the stage.

“The crowd erupted in applause when Rene and Melanie received their diplomas together,” the university said.

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