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72-year-old graduate recieves his college degree in Georgia

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

It is graduation season, and among the graduates walking this past weekend, one student received overwhelming cheers at Georgia Gwinnett College's graduation.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Sam Kaplan, summa cum laude.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Sam Kaplan received his degree in cinema and media arts production at the age of 72 years old.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: You may now transfer your tassel from your left to your right, signifying...

(CHEERING)

CHANG: He originally graduated from high school in 1969, and he's the father of five children. Kaplan hadn't really considered college until four years ago when he heard about this program at Georgia Gwinnett College on the radio while he was driving, he told "Fox5 Atlanta."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FOX5 ATLANTA")

SAM KAPLAN: The next exit was Collins Hill, so I exited off, and five minutes later, I was registering for class.

SHAPIRO: He's authored two books and has always enjoyed writing, so he decided on cinema and media arts production in hopes of learning how to turn some of his stories into screenplays. Kaplan told "Fox5 Atlanta" that he attended his 50th high school reunion during his junior year of college.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FOX5 ATLANTA")

KAPLAN: It was a lot of fun. It was a challenging - learning how to study again, and interacting with the students was a lot of fun. I'm very excited, and I feel proud of myself for doing this.

CHANG: According to Georgia Gwinnett College, the highlight of the day for Kaplan was having his 99-year-old mother in the audience to watch him graduate.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIR EDWARD ELGAR'S "POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.
Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Erika Ryan
Erika Ryan is a producer for All Things Considered. She joined NPR after spending 4 years at CNN, where she worked for various shows and CNN.com in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Ryan began her career in journalism as a print reporter covering arts and culture. She's a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and currently lives in Washington, D.C., with her dog, Millie.
Tinbete Ermyas
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