Shoutout to Anthony Brutto, who this weekend will participate in commencement exercises at West Virginia University.
This is an ace achievement for any human, but today we’re specifically celebrating Brutto because he is both 94, and is also finally getting his diploma after studying “off and on for 75 years,” according to the school.
So. That seems pretty impressive, right?
Brutto — who has earned a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree — started out at West Virginia as an engineering major in 1939, according to the story released by the school. He eventually shifted to physical education and industrial arts, but was drafted before he could graduate.
Brutto returned to WVU after World War II, but had to leave school when his wife got sick, the release stated. He later worked as a machinist before retiring in the 1980s. He made jewelry, and sculpted with wood, and then — this past semester — he reapplied at West Virginia University.
The Charleston Daily Mail has more details:
Over the years, thoughts of his incomplete college education festered, but it wasn’t until his daughter suggested getting a regent’s degree that Brutto considered going back to school for a third time.
“I didn’t even think it was an option until she told me about it,” he said.
After more than 60 years, Brutto once again enrolled at WVU, this time as a regent’s student. He’ll finally receive his diploma on Sunday when he crosses the stage at WVU’s commencement. He’ll be one of the oldest WVU graduates. One other 94-year-old student graduated in the 1990s.
When Brutto first enrolled at WVU, tuition was only $50 a year. When he re-enrolled after the war, it jumped to $52. He remembers being pretty unhappy about that increase.
A Regents Bachelor of Arts is a general education degree, said Adrianne Wyatt, a public relations specialist for WVU University College. Basically, Brutto had amassed a ton of credits during all those stints in college, and could use them to fulfill the requirements. (He did have to submit a portfolio, Wyatt said.)
“One thing about education, they can’t take it away from you,” he told the Daily Mail in a video. “Education is a great thing.”