Feel Good Story: 72-Year-Old Georgia Man Graduates College as 99-Year-old Mom Looks On

Sam Kaplan is a 72-year-old man from Lawrenceville, Georgia. Kaplan has proven that it’s never too late to pursue one’s dreams. “Kaplan recently graduated from Georgia Gwinnett College with a degree in cinema and media arts, four years after enrolling in college for the first time.”

Kaplan’s graduation was singularly unique, not only for him but all college graduates. The occasion was momentous for his family, of course, but “truly incredible is while he walked across the stage to receive his degree, his 99-year-old mother was watching.” Kaplan graduated Summa Cum Laude and plans to continue pursuing his passion for writing and screenplays.

As reported, Kaplan’s journey to graduation was not typical or ordinary. He did not contemplate going to college after graduating from high school in 1969. A “chance encounter” on the road four years ago changed the trajectory of his destiny. Kaplan described the coincidental moment when he heard an advertisement on the radio that a college was offering this particular degree. As Kaplan narrated the event, “The next exit was Collinsville, so I exited off and five minutes later, I was registering for class.” He was 68 years old.

Kaplan had already authored two books and possessed an interest in scriptwriting. He decided to major in cinema and media arts at Georgia Gwinnett College. As Kaplan described his journey, “I’ve always liked to write, I love to tell stories.” Kaplan elaborated: “I thought I could turn my stories into screenplays, but I needed to have the foundation of what to do.”

Kaplan shared that “going back to school after 50 years was a challenge, but he found the experience to be rewarding.” He admitted to being nervous but exclaimed that this new direction was invigorating. “Learning how to study again and interacting with the students was a lot of fun,” he said, adding, “I’m very excited, and I feel proud of myself for doing this.” Kaplan’s inspiring path illustrates as long as there is life, it’s not too late to pursue your dreams. His mother might have said something like, “It’s about time!” See here for one-minute video of Sam Kaplan receiving his diploma and hugs.

D & B Staff

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Episode 79