10/17/2013 at 03:00 PM EDT
The most popular girl at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., isn't a cheerleader or a track star – she's an 82-year-old whom the students call Granny Franny.
Frances Wood enrolled at the college to take some classes in finance, history and literature after her husband of 59 years passed away.
"I was beginning to get just a little lonely and depressed," she told KCTV
. "I needed something different to do and, believe me, this is different."
She's quickly won hearts all over the campus, handing out homemade business cards with her phone number and email address so that the students can reach out to her.
"Students feel loved by her," said student Konner McIntire, who was inspired to write a story
about her new friend, whom she calls the most popular girl on campus. "She's like a grandma away from home."
So they decided to honor Granny Franny at their homecoming over the weekend.
Three boys asked her out, and while she accompanied them on a group date, Wood also gave them some advice. "She did say that we need to get real girls that are potential wives," said Dylan Arbersold with a laugh.
Wood, who got a standing ovation and was presented with flowers, was also given a special title – she was crowned "Homecoming Granny."
"I could never have imagined all of this," Wood said.