Ohio woman gets diploma 63 years after missing graduation

AP News
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Posted: May 01, 2015 2:47 PM
Ohio woman gets diploma 63 years after missing graduation

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — A woman who missed graduation in 1952 because she needed a half-credit of gym class has received her high school diploma decades later in a surprise ceremony.

A graduation march played Thursday while 80-year-old Susan Bostik Reynolds was pushed in a wheelchair by her daughter, Cindy Bracy, to a stage at Lorain's Clearview High School. She had been told she was receiving an early Mother's Day gift.

Clearview Superintendent Jerome Davis handed the diploma to Reynolds and shook her hand. She wore a blue graduation cap for the ceremony in a new auditorium at her old school, The Morning Journal (http://bit.ly/1HXAYHY ) reported.

Reynolds said she waited a long time for the diploma and was glad her children could see it. She said she'd fallen short of graduation requirements because of an illness that sent her to the hospital. She didn't pass her gym class because she wouldn't participate in one of the physical activities.

"I had an appendix attack," Reynolds said. "I didn't finish gym class. I wouldn't go up on that rope."

She went on to raise five children with her husband and worked at Lorain National Bank.

Clearview guidance counselor Jean Branzel said the ceremony illustrated the importance of getting a diploma, no matter how long it takes.

And it was a good lesson for students.

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Brandon Folley, a senior who attended the ceremony. "She waited so long to accomplish something that not everybody can accomplish."

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Information from: The Morning Journal, http://www.morningjournal.com