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Woman, 97, gets high school diploma

June 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM   |   Comments

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio, June 8 (UPI) -- A 97-year-old Ohio woman who dropped out of school at the age of 17 was issued an honorary high school diploma by a Shaker Heights high school.

Mark Freeman, Shaker Heights School District Superintendent, gave the Shaker Heights High School diploma to Ann Colagiovanni during a ceremony Wednesday attended by her friends and family, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Friday.

"It is my great honor to present this diploma to you, and you'll see it's June of 1934," Freeman said. "That's when we believe that would be the appropriate date."

Colagiovanni's daughter, Emilia Colagiovanni Vinci, said her mother has dreamed of receiving a diploma since she dropped out of school during the depression years to help out at her father's store.

"When I told her she was getting a diploma, she sobbed as if a pain had been relieved from her heart," Vinci said. "I never knew what it meant to her. She wanted this."

Colagiovanni said her father would have been proud to see her receive a diploma.

"He'd be so happy to know that finally I'm going to be, I'm going to be a graduate," she said.

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