Margaret Dunning, 102, is on the road to higher education as she returns to college to finish her business degree.
A few days ago, Dunning had no thoughts of returning to school but this past Wednesday, she got a surprise and an offer she couldn’t refuse.
Following an article on Today.co about Dunning and her love affair with automobiles, the FRAM Group, which makes FRAM and Prestone auto products among others, decided to honor Dunning in a private ceremony and presented her with a lifetime supply of car-care products and fully paid tuition at the University of Michigan.
She has changed her own oil and spark plugs her whole life but it is tender care for a 1930 Packard Roadster 740 which she purchased in 1949 that brought her a modicum of fame. IN addition, Dunning also owns several other classic cars.
Dunning was raised on a dairy and potato farm just west of Detroit and a short distance from the family of Henry Ford. Driving is in her blood. She learned how on the family farm when she was 8, crashed her first vehicle into the barn at age 10 and earned her first official license at the ripe old age of 12. She graduated from high school in 1929 and began taking business classes at the University of Michigan. Back then, she drove a Packard to school but hid it in the woods. She could have been dismissed from school for the offense but no one found out and she was able to use it to return home on weekends.
The Great Depression hit hard and Dunning was forced to leave school to help her mother who was the owner of a bank. The family needed her help. She was able to forge a career in banking so leaving school didn’t have the same negative effect on her that it had on so many others.
She is excited about the new chapter in her life and is already making plans: what classes she’ll take, how she’ll get to and from campus and how to put her scholarship to its best use. Dunning thinks she can finish up her degree in about a year.