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'Oldest-living' University of Texas at Dallas alumna celebrates turning 100 years old

Happy birthday, Jane Yates!
Credit: UT Dallas

DALLAS — The University of Texas at Dallas' oldest living alumna, according to the university, is celebrating a major milestone: She's turned 100 years old!

Jane Yates, according to UT Dallas, earned her bachelor’s degree in 1978. 

But this month, Yates marked her birthday with a celebration at her assisted living home, followed by a family gathering at the UT Dallas Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, named after her family, according to the school.

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Yates was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to UT Dallas. After graduating high school, she attended a women’s college then worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for her father. In 1943, she married her late husband, Lt. Jack Yates, and welcomed their first daughter a year later. 

In 1971, at the age of 50, UT Dallas said Yates decided to go back to college to complete her degree once most of her four children left home. After earning her associate’s degree from Richland Community College, Yates enrolled at UT Dallas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and graduated summa cum laude.

Credit: UT Dallas

“She’s always been interested in trying new things, doing new things, going new places and meeting new people,” Susan Collins, one of Yates’ four children, said. “She’s always been motivated to learn and do and go and see.”

The celebration in Yates' honor included balloons, flowers, food and cake, along with a room full of people impacted by Yates’ life.

Information provided by UT Dallas.