72-Year-Old Graduates College and His 99-Year-Old Mom Proudly Attends the Ceremony

Learning is a lifelong journey. While some people go to college early, others have a different scholastic route. For Sam Kaplan, he spent 50 years out of the classroom before eventually finding his way back at the age of 68. After enrolling in Georgia Gwinnett College, he worked toward achieving a degree in Cinema and Media Arts. The now-72-year-old proudly crossed the stage on May 11 and was cheered on by his 99-year-old mother.

Kaplan graduated high school in 1969 and lived an entire life before going back to college. Not only did he become a father of five, but he also ran a cleaning service, and a telemarketing company, and even worked part-time as a taxi driver. He was inspired to return to school after hearing about a degree that involved script writing at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Although working alongside younger students was a big adjustment, he was able to find common ground with his peers by talking about personal goals and aspirations. “When you ask a student about what they want and plan on doing and find out what they want to do with their lives; I think that’s uncommon with a lot of kids—they don’t get that with people,” Kaplan says. “I think I have a good relationship with them. I got hugs from a lot of them on the last day of classes.”

The graduation ceremony was made extra special by having his family present. Even Kaplan's 99-year-old mother came to see him receive his diploma. “This is my first undergraduate degree,” Kaplan explains. “I’m the first of my seven siblings to earn a degree.” We definitely wish him all the best in his new endeavors!

Sam Kaplan enrolled in college when he was 68. Now 72 years old, he finally received his degree and his 99-year-old mother proudly attended the graduation ceremony.

h/t: [Today]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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