Giuseppe Paterno, 96, receives his undergraduate degree in history and philosophy from the University of Palermo, in Palermo, Italy.
Through war, child poverty, and the recent pandemic, Giuespeppe has faced many challenges throughout his life and now has officially passed the challenge of university this past week after receiving his degree.
“That’s it, now or never,” Giuseppe thought when deciding to enroll himself at the University of Palermo back in 2017. “I understood that it was a little late to get a three-year degree but I said to myself ‘let’s see if I can do it’.”
The former railway worker received his diploma and the traditional laurel wreath while he was applauded by his family, teachers, and students.
“I am a normal person, like many others,” he said when asked what it’s like graduating at his age. “In terms of age, I have surpassed all the others.”
On Wednesday, he graduated first in his class with top honors, receiving tons of praise and congratulations from he university chancellor Fabrizio Micari.
Growing up in Sicily, Giuseppe didn’t receive the best education. He joined the navy and served in World War II before starting a family and working on railways. After the war, his only plans were to attend high school where he then graduated at the age of 31.
“My project for the future is to devote myself to writing,” Giuspeppe says. “I want to revisit all the texts I didn’t have a chance to explore further. This is my goal.”