Not everyone can graduate college just four years after high school.
Life often gets in the way — thinks like marriage, jobs, kids, or in the case of Anthony Brutto from Morgantown, West Virginia, the second World War.
Though he first enrolled in courses at West Virginia University in 1939, Brutto is finally ready to don a cap and gown as he gets his degree from WVU as part of the class of 2015.
“It was always important to me to graduate,” Brutto told WVU's Adrianne Wyatt.
As a child, he had a hobby of crafting things out of wood, such as trinkets and even a key used to pick the lock to his mother's candy stash. He had hoped to turn this pastime of creating useful items into a career after obtaining formal engineering training from WVU. Like many college students, Brutto did not find his first major as rewarding as he anticipated, which resulted in him changing gears.
"So, I switched to physical education and industrial arts," Brutto explained to WVU. "I worked in the shop with wood and did metalworking. I started making jewelry."
His studies continued on as planned for the next few years until the country got very different in 1942, when America's involvement in World War II came out in full force. Brutto served in the Army Air Corps (in what would eventually become the Air Force) for the duration of the war.
He returned to the classroom after the war, but was forced to drop out again to care for his family. He made a career out of factory and aircraft mechanic work, but continued to create things out of wood in his spare time, selling them on the side.
When the time was right, he enrolled at WVU again, in hopes of earning a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree, which is a program tailor-made for adult students who have spent years away from the classroom.
Brutto will walk across the stage and accept his diploma with all of the other graduates on May 17. Go Mountaineers!
[H/T: West Virginia University]
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