Eastern Iowa WW2 Hero Finally Enjoys College Graduation Ceremony
College graduations have been taking place across the entire country the past few weekends. Graduates are celebrating this massive accomplishment and for a vast majority of these students, they are preparing to enter into a completely new stage of their lives.
Some students will be entering the workforce, at a professional level, for the first time, while others may take a little bit more time to figure out exactly what they want to do. For one Eastern Iowa graduate, attending his graduation ceremony had to be put on hold for a few years...okay, it's more like a lot of years.
Fred Taylor is a 101-year-old who originally finished college back in 1943. The only problem for Fred was he was not able to attend his graduation ceremony 8 decades ago.
Once this Cornell graduate finished all of his classes, he got his diploma right before he left Iowa to serve in World War 2. According to KCRG, it was the one thing he really missed out on during his college experience. He said
That really felt like an ‘incomplete’ when I had to leave Cornell College in February of my senior year.
One of the reasons he was able to participate in this ceremony was because of his daughter. His daughter reached out to Cornell to see if it would be possible to allow Fred to participate.
Jonathan Brand is the Cornell College president and he told KCRG,
He had not been able to process/participate in commencement because of his service. She asked very gently and not presumptuously, could he come back and could he participate? He’s an emblem of what we try to accomplish and what we hope to see in all of our students and graduates. He has, for his entire life, really been focused on supporting and helping others.
Imagine going through all of the work and dedication it takes to graduate from college, only to not be able to participate in the celebration of that work and dedication. I'm not sure how Fred lasted this long! I would've selfishly asked every single year if I could walk across the stage, just so I could say I had finally finished.
Thankfully, Fred now feels like his collegiate career has finally been completed. He told KCRG
Well it really ties the ribbon on it makes me feel like now now it’s complete.
I just want to wish Fred a huge congratulations. That is a long time to wait to feel like you've finally crossed the finish line. This WW2 hero had clearly accomplished his goals and finished the college journey but it still has to feel pretty good to have your moment in the sun and walk across the stage as a college graduate.