Iowa Student Graduating After 19 Years of College 48-year-old took single class each semester By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Apr 26, 2011 4:52 PM CDT 12 comments Comments Kathy Vitzthum's degree took a little longer than normal. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – She’s been in college since Bill Clinton was elected, taking approximately one class each semester—and now, she’s finally graduating. “I've been doing this so long, I don't think I'll know how not to do it,” says Kathy Vitzthum, 48, a senior accounting major at Iowa State. She’s already seen her daughter graduate; her son will finish a nursing degree this week. But after promising her sick father that she’d complete her schooling, Vitzthum couldn’t give up, the university's news service reports. She entered college at the encouragement of her boss, who promised her a promotion if she took some classes. She didn’t plan to graduate, but then her father developed cancer. “He said to me, 'You know Kathy, you're this far, why don't you just keep going and get your degree?'” Her parents gave her an early graduation gift: an antique curio cabinet she’d had her eye on. “After that, it wasn't an option to quit school," though she had kids and a job, she notes. "Every time I looked at the cabinet, I was reminded."