Graduation comes late for 87-year-old

Dec. 17, 2007 at 4:00 PM

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- An 87-year-old man has become the oldest graduate since the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee began keeping electronic records 25 years ago.

Clarence Garrett was awarded his bachelor's degree at commencement ceremonies Sunday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"We are not sure if Clarence Garrett is the oldest to ever graduate from UWM, but we do know that there had not been a graduate for some time who was born when the president was Woodrow Wilson," Chancellor Carlos Santiago said.

Garrett even led fellow graduates from the College of Letters and Science into the U.S. Cellular Arena, where he was awarded the first bachelor's degree of the night. He earned a standing ovation from Sunday's crowd.

The former military man had been away from school for almost half a century after giving up on education to care for his family.

"After all my children went to college -- I said, 'Why shouldn't I?'" Garrett said to the Journal Sentinel. "And I have loved it ever since."

Garrett also had his wife of 43 years, Mary, and his children and grandchildren all cheering for him at the ceremony.

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