83-year-old Canton woman attends classes at SUNY Canton, alongside great-grandchildren.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 2:30 pm

SUNY Canton student Myrtle Butterfield and two of her classmates, her great-grandchildren Jamie Butterfield and Carter Cutway.

CANTON -- An 83-year-old Canton woman is attending classes at SUNY Canton, alongside two of her great-grandchildren.

Myrtle Butterfield is taking courses 65 years after graduating from high school.

"I went to the Office of Admissions with my granddaughter-in-law," Butterfield recalled. "I met (Admissions Counselor) Brandon Davock and when I walked out, I was enrolled in the liberal arts program."

Her great-grandson, Carter K. Cutway, was a business management student during the spring 2012 semester, and her great-granddaughter, Jamie L. Butterfield, is in the criminal justice program. "Who else can say they went to college with their great-grandmother?" Cutway said.

Adjusting to college life did not come easy to Myrtle. "I almost quit during my first week," she recalled, but she said "Everyone is so supportive. What more can you ask for?"

During time at the college and after developing a new routine, Butterfield has developed a new love of learning. She's been on the president's list and inducted into two honor societies. Her GPA was in the top 10 percent of her class.

She often offers advice to her younger classmates:

"I went straight from high school to marriage," she recalled. "We didn't have the resources then that we have today. I always regretted not coming to college, but work and family always came first. I tell all of the young, beautiful and wonderful students here not to waste this opportunity."

Butterfield has discovered she has a talent for writing prose and poetry. She is scheduled to earn her associate's degree in December and plans to work toward her four-year degree and to continue writing.