NEWS

Bob Barger Is Graduating College At 96 Without Stepping In A Classroom Since The 1940s

May 9, 2018 12:02

San Diego State University is one of the many US institutions that cater to veterans who want to study for degrees. As at 2017, over 800 military veterans were enrolled in classes. According to university reports, the facility made available to the students ensures that most graduate within four years from enrolment.

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Despite the appreciable numbers at San Diego State, the same cannot be said for the country at large. Statistics provided by the National Student Clearinghouse show that 1 in 5 veterans enrolled in school programs covered by the GI Bill actually graduates.

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According to the VA, over $73 billion has been pumped into the GI Bill, which supports veterans seeking degrees after service. Sadly, the results fall short of the investment.

World War II Veteran graduates 68 years after college

Bob Barger retired to a quiet life after the war and focused on his new job and raising his family. School was the furthest thing on his mind. But 68 years after his last class, Barger has a delightful surprise.

In January, Bob was told he would be awarded a college degree. His response:

I can't believe this. I'm 96 years old.

But it was true. And last week, the University of Toledo awarded Barger a degree. The institution reviewed the man's transcripts from the 1940’s when he was in college. They concluded that he passed well enough to be awarded an associate’s degree.

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In all, Bob Barger completed 83 credit hours, which surpassed the required hours by 20.

It was something I never dreamed of. I knew I couldn't go back to school now.

The current equivalent is a two-year diploma, which was not available in the 1940’s, but the degree is still relevant. As for Barger, he is particularly pleased at the development. And his graduation is also a source of nostalgia.

I'm going to be proud to hang that diploma on the wall and think about the friends behind it. I found out without friends, this old world wouldn't be worth living in.

Barbara Kopp Miller, dean of University College at Toledo, said awarding Barger the degree was "the right thing to do.” She also added:

He deserved. He earned it. It's so cool to honor a member of our greatest generation.

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Bob Barger may not be keen on going back to school now, but his story shows that there are benefits to hard work and dedication, even if they are delayed. And age is never really a factor.

Congratulations are in order

The University also congratulated Barger on Twitter for his laudable achievement. The commencement ceremony will be held this weekend, and Bob has already gotten his gown for the event.

The graduate has Haraz Ghanbari, the school’s director of military and veteran affairs, to thank for his gradation. They met in 2013 when Ghanbari was a Navy Reserve officer. Barger officiated Ghanbari’s promotion to lieutenant.

When Ghanbari found out Barger never graduated from the university, he took up the matter, saw to it that Bob’s records were found, and the rest is history.

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