A degree 57 years in the making

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) -- "I felt for many years that if I had to go back to college it would be tough," said 75-year-old Larry Cummings, a recent college graduate of the University of Alabama.

57 years later, Cummings proved that he was strong enough to go back to school and earn that degree he always wanted. He is the epitome of the saying "it's never too late," or in this case you're never too old to chase what you want.

"Oh it's awesome because I'm not an A student, I went to college for a whole lot of reasons and being an A student wasn't one of those reasons," Cummings said.

He dropped out of school at Alabama in 1960 with only one class left, but thanks to his daughter Meredith Cummings, she helped him get back on track.

"So she mentioned that I could take this course and basically it's a grammar course for journalism students, but I had to make an A to get my GPA high enough to graduate, which I did!"

However, there was a catch, his daughter is a journalism professor at the university, so when it came time to pick classes, "I actually tried to steer him towards a different class," Meredith Cummings laughed.

Larry ended up taking an online course so he had to not only face the challenges of education, but a really slow computer as well.

"I didn't know what was going on at first because windows came up and I'm like why are they picking now to do an update, I'm right in the middle of this test and I've got to get through it," Cummings laughed.

He still got an 88, B grade on the test, but it came just weeks after surgery for a heart aneurysm and naturally making excuses harder for his daughter's students.

"I'm like ya'll just hush because my dad had to have aneurysm surgery and he made it through, so I'm just like I don't want to hear anything else," Meredith laughed.

His wife Carol, who went back to get her degree at age 40, "he would not be where he is without me," she smirked.

Gleaming with joy and known to him as "lovey" she continued to live up to a very sweet expectation.

"She said yesterday, now I can hang my diploma up on the wall and I'm thinking why now," Cummings explained. "She said I didn't want to hang a diploma up if you didn't have one, I thought, oh how totally sweet and wonderful."


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