Joyce Garvey and her grandson Josh Galasso wearing UWindsor toques and scarvesJoyce Garvey and her grandson Josh Galasso don UWindsor gear after he took her to his classes in the Odette School of Business.

Mimi’s big day on campus

“Seventy-five years old and I’m finally sitting in a classroom at the University of Windsor. How awesome is that? And it was all because of what my thoughtful grandson made me do.”

Joyce Garvey’s foray into academia last week has also meant a brush with online fame for the grandmother of four thanks to a tweet send out by her grandson, 19-year-old Odette School of Business student Josh Galasso.

“It started with her asking a couple of questions on how the university experience actually was, and what my professors were like, and how the class structure works, and how big the classes were. So the only way to answer those questions was to bring her along for the day,” Galasso says.

“I just asked her if she'd like to come and we had lunch right before class — I gave her a little tour of the University, our Leddy library, and CAW Centre, and then we actually went to class after that.”

The student snapped photos as his Mimi took notes in a marketing class, posed in front of the Odette Building, and mugged beside a Campus Police vehicle — later posting them online to an overwhelming response.

So far the tweet has received more than 5,100 likes and was retweeted more than 550 times — all to the amazement and delight of Garvey.

Calling herself, “not a computer person,” she said she was thrilled that so many people were able to share her special day through Twitter.

“I never expected in a million years the kind of reaction that we got,” says Galasso. “It was very, very positive on social media and everybody was very nice about it. I think it kind of made a couple people’s day — I actually got a couple messages saying it made their week which is really nice.”

Garvey says she was most taken with the University’s architecture and was a big fan of Leddy Library.

“That was my favorite building. All those floors — books, student workstations, computers, everything a student would need,” she says. “I thought, ‘isn't that fabulous, they have this learning ability where so many don't have that chance.’”

The pair have always been close, they say, Galasso adding that their day on campus was a unique way to spend time together.

“I decided to bring her because you can’t just describe the sort of environment that might be at the university over a couple of words,” he says.

“My first reaction was just to bring her along; there are always open seats. I knew it wouldn’t be a problem with the professors and I really wanted to show her what it was really like. I thought we were just going to show her the university — it was going to be just a day and done, but it was actually a very good bonding experience and very great learning experience for her — a very nice day overall.”

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