At 94 years of age, he’s just slightly older than the rest of the graduating class.
This Saturday, WWII veteran Paul Blom will be getting his degree from the University of Cincinnati, 70 years after he first enrolled. You may well be wondering why it took 70 years for him to get his degree and the answer to that, my friends, is life.
His journey started in the 1970s. While he was making plans to pursue higher education, Blom also enlisted for the Navy in May 1943. His actual plan was to study hard until he was sent to active duty but to his surprise, he was called to duty just months later, in July.
After serving his country for 3 years, he returned home in August 1946 and found himself in a bit of a pickle. Since it was August, there was no place for him in any of the classes.
Paul told WCPO-Cinncinati, “I came down to UC thinking I was going to go to school, but, you know, it was late, it was almost August, and there wasn’t no room for me.”
He thought of the situation as a tiny set back and decided to help the family business while attending evening classes. He originally planned to take regular classes once there was room for him, but as always, life happened, and he got swept away with his routine for the next nine years.
Eventually, he stopped going to school altogether and just focused on the family business. He claims that he only had 2 classes left and just lost track.
“You know, everything just slipped up, I think I had like 2 courses to finish and for some reason I just never went back to, you know, finish them…” Paul remarked.
His family members, who knew that he was so close to his finishing his degree, contacted the University of Cincinnati and asked them if Paul Blom could get an honorary degree. After investigating the issue, the university found out that Paul Bloom already had enough credits to earn an associate’s degree from the university.
A walkthrough was arranged to prepare the new graduate for the UC’s fall commencement. Paul will also be sitting next to his grandson during the commencement, who happens to be a member of the National Guard and is expected to graduate from the University of Cincinnati next year.
This heart-warming story just proves that it is never too late to accomplish your goals and hey, we may have already done it without noticing it at all!