105-Year-Old Navy Veteran Finally Gets His College Diploma After 83 Years


These days, it isn’t uncommon for a college degree to take a bit longer than the usual four years. Some students just get busy; Others need some time to figure out what they want, and still others simply require an extra year or two to pass challenging classes.

One recent college graduate may have just set a new record, however. Bill Vogt didn’t just take a year off from college; He recently received his diploma after a stunning 83-year break.

We should probably mention that Vogt isn’t your typical college grad. He’s 105 years old and officially graduated from San Diego State University on Thursday.

“School officials believed Vogt is the oldest alumni and the only one alive from when the institution was a teachers’ college,” Fox News reported.

“Vogt started classes in 1931 and commuted to school. He studied business, but it was called ‘commerce’ at the time,” the outlet continued.

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The reason for the centenarian’s long break from school began ordinarily enough. Vogt admitted that he “wasn’t a great student” and was distracted by something a lot of freshmen struggle with: alcohol.

Of course, this was the prohibition era, making the eternal college quest for booze a bit harder than it is now.

“A professor felt Vogt didn’t deserve credit for a class in his last semester which left Vogt a few credits short and unable to graduate,” Fox explained.

“He went back to make up for the credits he needed and finished in the middle of the year but the graduation ceremony was held months after.”

Do you respect this veteran even more for coming back and finalizing his degree?

On paper, the young man was eligible to graduate and receive his diploma, but life kept getting in the way. He was working for a bit and kept putting it off.

Then history threw a wrench in his plans: America entered World War II in December of 1941, and Vogt joined the Navy. Wrapping up his degree was understandably put on hold.

“The graduate found work and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He also worked at the Pentagon before retiring in 1970. He worked as a school administrator after retiring,” Fox News reported.

Even though the now-veteran gentleman had never officially graduated, he considered himself an alumnus and followed San Diego State University sports and other activities.

When school officials found out about the century-old veteran’s unique story, however, they went into the school archives.

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“School officials searched in records and discovered Vogt had completed his studies to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The school made the diploma to mimic the ones that were handed out in 1935,” said Fox.

University President Adela de la Torre personally awarded the man his diploma. Vogt jokingly hoped he wasn’t setting a bad example by taking so long to return.

“I hope I haven’t been a disgrace to the school,” Vogt said to the president.

“Not at all,” she answered.

“I’m going to hang it on the wall with pride,” the Navy veteran declared. “I went to a fine school.”

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.