Arlyne Frankel

Degree: B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

School: School of Environment, Arts and Society

College: College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Arlyne Frankel began her collegiate career like most people, at 18. Attending Boston University, she struggled with her academics and barely completed her two-year degree, affecting her confidence. For 61 years, her dream of earning a bachelor’s degree was put on pause – until now.

At 85 years old, after what seems like a lifetime, Arlyne is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.

The youngest of three children, Arlyne left for the Big Apple in 1956, where her two sisters took her under their wing. She ventured into a myriad of fields including finance, clerical work, home design and public relations.

In 1966, Arlyne married and moved to Florida where the couple owned and managed The Churchill Hotel in Miami Beach for 15 years. They had two boys, but the marriage didn’t last. She moved on from the hotel business and took on a career in communications.

At age 80, Arlyne decided to go back to the classroom and complete her degree. Through diagnostic testing, Arlyne grew to understand her academic struggles were related to a previously undiagnosed learning disability. With confidence earned through decades of experience and help from FIU’s Academic Support Services and the Disability Resource Center, she was able to complete her degree. Arlyne now plans to take a few art courses and explore her creative side.

By Christine Calvo and Nathalie Medina
Junior Account Managers
College of Arts, Sciences & Education