You're never too old to stop learning. Reba McEntire's mother is a testament to this old adage, as she was recently awarded an honorary degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University at the age of 89!

On Thursday (Oct. 6), Jacqueline McEntire was given an honorary bachelor degree in Public Education and Community Service. While she graduated from high school at 16 and was certified as a teacher by the age of 18, she was never able to finish her degree.

“It is an honor for Southeastern to be involved in recognizing Mrs. McEntire for her lifelong devotion to education,’’ President Burrage said at the ceremony. “It is especially appropriate when you remember that Southeastern was founded to educate teachers and that legacy continues today. Throughout her life, Mrs. McEntire has emphasized the importance of education. She is a true inspiration for all of us at Southeastern.’’

Jacqueline worked in public education for nearly 20 years as a teacher, secretary and librarian. Previously, she attended the state college for 95 credit hours before she stopped to start a family.

“I would listen to Mama tell stories about catching the Greyhound from Limestone Gap to Durant to attend summer school at Southeastern and then teach students in the fall,’’ Susie McEntire-Eaton recalls. “That’s wanting to be a people changer. I began searching for a way to honor her hard work and dedication to the field of education. She’s a woman of many talents, gifts, strengths and endearing treasures. And by treasures, I’m speaking purely in human terms.”

The country superstar and her siblings Alice, Pake and Susie were all in attendance at their mother's honor.

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