96-Year-Old Becomes Oldest USC Graduate

(Photo: Alfonso Gonzales, 96, University of Southern California's oldest graduating Trojan receives his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology diploma from USC surrounded by family members, as part of the 2016 USC Commencement ceremony, on Friday, May 13, 2016 in Los Angeles. The World War II veteran thought he'd already graduated when he skipped commencement exercises in 1953 because of work obligations. He was founding a soil company that he ran for 55 years. But when relatives recently approached USC about getting a copy of his diploma, they learned he was one unit short. Although the school no longer offers a zoology major, it crafted an independent study course through the gerontology school that included reading, video assignments, visiting other classes, and writing a thesis about his life. (Gus Ruelas/USC via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP)–It took more than 60 years but a University of Southern California student has finally received his diploma.

Ninety-six-year-old Alfonso Gonzales received a bachelor of science degree in zoology on Friday, making him the oldest graduate in USC history.

The World War II veteran thought he’d already graduated when he skipped commencement exercises in 1953 because of work obligations. He was founding a soil company that he ran for 55 years.

But when relatives recently approached the university about getting a copy of his diploma, they learned he was one unit short.

Although the school no longer offers a zoology major, it crafted an independent study course through the gerontology school that included reading, video assignments, visiting other classes, and writing a thesis about his life.

USC officials call Gonzales a “wonderful inspiration.”

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s