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Richard Smith, 87, the oldest F.I.U. Graduate & WWll Veteran Receives PH.D. in History

Can you imagine living in the era when Calvin Coolidge was president and foxtrot was king? Well, that is the life and era in which F.I.U. oldest graduate, Richard Smith, lived through.

Smith,87-year-old will be among more than 3,400 students to receive their degrees at 7:30 p.m. He will walk across the stage, perhaps his steps will be a little slower but his perseverance even stronger, hopefully to a standing ovation, on Saturday at the U.S. Century Bank Arena at Modesto Maidique Campus, located at 11200 SW Eighth St., and shake hands with the chancellor and pick up his PH.D. in History and make history at the same time.

“Anyone out there who thinks it is too late to go back to school, I’m here to tell them it’s not and it’s worth it,” said Smith. He enrolled in the doctorate program when he was already in his 80’s and completed his dissertation on John Sherman, the lesser known brother of Civil War General William T. Sherman.

Smith had just completed his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania before he was called into the Air Corps and sent to fight in Europe. After the war, Smith resumed too his civilian life, completed his bachelor’s degree, married, had three children and successfully operated a women’s clothing company.


August 12, 2011 - Posted by | Community News | , , , , , , ,

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