94-Year-Old WWII Veteran Finally Gets His College Degree

Paul Blom returned to school 73 years after he first enrolled.

by - Posted on Jan 8, 2020

Paul Blom attends the University of Cincinnati's commencement ceremony

It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams. After more than half a century since his last class at the University of Cincinnati, Paul Blom, 94, walked alongside other students at the university’s official commencement ceremony in December, where he received an associate’s degree.

The World War II veteran first enrolled at the university in 1946, after returning home from serving in the Navy for three years. “I came down to UC thinking I was going to go to school, but, you know, it was late, it was almost August, and there wasn’t no room for me,” Blom told WCPO-TV.

Blom enrolled in UC’s evening college program where he took night classes in traffic management for nine years. But as he became more involved with the family trucking business, he decided to stop attending.

“You know, it kind of slipped by,” he said. "I think I only lacked maybe two courses for some reason or another. I just didn’t ever go back and finish that.”

Back in May, Blom’s daughter, Paula Baxter, reached out to UC to see if her father could receive an honorary degree and the university found that it could offer him much more. After discovering that Blom received more than enough credits to qualify for an associate's degree through UC Blue Ash, a regional college within the University of Cincinnati, university officials were able to issue him the associate’s degree he had earned in full all those years ago.

“It’s very inspirational to see a part of the Greatest Generation receive his degree and be a part of this ceremony,” said Terence Harrison, program manager of Veterans Programs and Services, according to the university website. “It just goes to show that you’re never too old to see your dreams fulfilled."

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