Class of 2020: Great grandmother graduates from Cal

UC Berkeley's class of 2020 includes one graduate who picked up her diploma at an age that many people consider is the time to call it quits and retire.

Jules Patrice Means, aka "Ms. Jules," is a 67-year-old great grandmother, who graduated from Cal with a degree in sociology with all As and just one B+. 

She's had a lifetime of challenges, from having a baby in high school to suffering a major stroke just seven years ago, according to the school.

These challenges have only made her stronger and better equipped “to do what the Bible tells us: To love your neighbor as much as you love yourself,” she said. “That’s how I live my life.”

She's among the many Cal students who could not graduate on stage last weekend because of the pandemic. 

And though she's a tough woman, Means teared up over the fact that there would be no pomp and circumstance, according to the university.

She said she paid for “quite expensive” graduation announcements and photos of herself in cap and gown. They now sit in stacks, inside plastic sleeves, on her dining room table in Brentwood.

Perhaps she'll get another chance at a real-life ceremony.

She's applying for graduate school at Cal to earn her master's of social welfare degree.

"It’s never too late to achieve your aspirations in life," she told the university. 


Jules Patrice Means, 67, graduated from Cal. May 2020