TODAY   |  December 21, 2013

82-year-old becomes celebrity on college campus

There’s a new student at a college in Kansas who has become very popular in just one semester. Nicknamed “Granny Franny,” she said she came to learn, but has taught her fellow classmates about living life to the fullest, no matter what your age. NBC’s Joelle Garguilo reports.

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>>> a theater group comes to mind?

>> one college campus , the student everyone wants to be friend with is far from your typical sophomore. joel has her story.

>> it's definitely an understatement in this case. going back to school is tough at any age imagine going back 63 years after the fact. that is what francis wood did and in in one semester she has experienced more than she could have ever imagined.

>> reporter: the most popular student at mid-america nazarene university isn't the captain of the football team or the head cheerleader.

>> go!

>> reporter: it's this gal. 82-year-old francis wood, as students call her.

>> granny nanny .

>> this grandma of eight did what most women wouldn't do. packed the book bag and headed back to college.

>> i needed something different to do.

>> this is pretty different.

>> she has found new joy in learning and even more in her celebrity status.

>> people started talking about, there is this granny nanny on campus. i said who is she and why haven't i met her.

>> when you talk about her, your eyes light up.

>> she is magnetic.

>> this is the first time i've been the most popular girl on campus.

>> reporter: how does it feel?

>> it's great!

>> reporter: everywhere she goes, smiles and laughter follow.

>> look at her cheating on me!

>> reporter: she was even crowned homecoming granny. you had three dates to homecoming?

>> yeah! boyfriend number three!

>> reporter: not one, not two, but three dates!

>> she's a classy babe. i'm telling you. we met together, asked her and she thought we were joking.

>> i said you need to get a real girl .

>> she was no easy date.

>> i finally decided i would go but buy my own ticket. students don't have money.

>> reporter: 60-year age gap gone like that.

>> front hand, backhand, big splash , gone.

>> reporter: so when it comes to history class, she might have a slight advantage.

>> do you remember --

>> yes. i went to his funeral.

>> reporter: don't let her age fool you. this granny plays a mean game of table tennis.

>> reporter: now show me what you're made of.

>> go!

>> oh, h!

>> reporter: did you ever think this would be your life?

>> oh, no. of course not. you never could have scripted this.

>> reporter: at 82, she came to learn but has taught everyone that life should be lived to thefuls, guys, no matter what your age.

>> love her story.

>> she whipped you there on the ping-pong table!

>> she absolutely did! and every other student.