An elder Latino man has survived WWII, the coronavirus pandemic, and now…college! At age 96, Giuseppe Paterno has become the country of Italy’s oldest college graduate. His family, students, and fellow teachers have applauded his tenacity and celebrated him as an inspiration to all.
Paterno has faced many challenges in his life, among them war and poverty. Paterno said, “I am a normal person, like many others. In terms of age, I have surpassed all the others, but I didn’t do it for this.” Nothing could stop him from achieving his life goal – graduating from college – not even a worldwide pandemic.
Last month, Paterno graduated first in his class (with honors) from the University of Palermo with a dual degree in History and Philosophy. After WWII, Paterno enrolled in high school and graduated at the age of 31, proving yet again that it’s never too late to further your education. “Knowledge is like a suitcase that I carry with me, it is a treasure,” said Paterno.
During his recent college stint, he used a typewriter his mother gave him in 1984 and only used textbooks instead of Google and online resources. After classes transitioned from in person to online, he even tuned in via Zoom to complete his 3 year degree. Congratulations, Giuseppe!
Photo courtesy of Routersconnect.