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Italy’s oldest student graduates university at 96


Università degli Studi di Palermo | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/19/20

The navy veteran decided to follow his dreams, and becomes an inspiration to us all.

People often believe that they’ve run out of time to follow their dreams once they hit middle age, or even before. Yet one Italian WWII navy veteran and grandfather named Guiseppe Paterno decided in 2017 to take the plunge and follow his desire to study history and philosophical studies at the University of Palermo.

The former railway worker had grown up without much money in Sicily, so for him, a university education was not an option. Yet in his golden years he decided, “that’s it, now or never,” as reported by Reuters in the video below.

So using his traditional typewriter and the old-school form of researching with books, the now-96-year-old took to studying at an age most people never dream of reaching. And the highly mature student was so dedicated to his studies, he stayed up until midnight to do his work.

When Paterno finally graduated this year, his son Ninni shared how it was an emotional occasion, but now the family can finally relax. While it’s possible to wonder what the war veteran might get up to next, one thing is certain, he’s not only an inspiration to his family, but to anybody who ever thinks it’s “too late.”


Read more:
Watch this inspirational elderly Irish couple talk about marriage and faith

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