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Students: 82-year-old ‘homecoming granny’ inspires

Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-20 11:18:58-04

OLATHE, Kansas (KCTV) -- An octogenarian student who inspires everyone she meets received a special honor during homecoming festivities at a university in Kansas last week.

Frances Wood, 82, probably has more knowledge than she will learn in a semester, but still packs up her textbooks for class.

Wood, who enrolled at Mid-America Nazarene University after her husband passed away, said she was heartbroken and searching for something that would bring her joy.

“I was beginning to get just a little lonely and depressed. I needed something different to do -- and believe me this is different,” said Wood. “I thought, 'Is this really real? Am I really doing this.'”

Wood, one of the most popular students on campus, said she likes her “Granny Franny” nickname.

That's because students a quarter her age gravitate toward her because, for someone who said she was so down, always manages to inspire others.

“Students feel loved by her. She's kind of like a grandma away from home,” said student Konner McIntire.

As a result, students honored Wood during homecoming week. In fact, three students asked the 82-year-old to escort them to the dance and game.

While the three-to-one group date was a treat, the standing ovation Wood received really made the night stand out. And then Wood received a special place in homecoming court. She was crowned "homecoming granny."

“I could never have imagined all of this,” said Wood.

However, she did pass on some words of wisdom to her dates that night: get real girls.

“Yes, she did say that we need to get real girls that are potential wives,” said Dylan Aebersold.