94-year-old Anthony Brutto might hold the record for the longest time it took to graduate, seeing as today he finally gets his degree from West Virginia University after 76 years.
He enrolled as a freshman in 1939, when his tuition cost him a whopping $50. Although he was determined to graduate in 4 years with an engineering degree, he switched to a major in industrial arts. This wouldn’t be his last setback.
In 1942, the world went to war and Brutto was drafted. He used his WVU metalwork skills on aircrafts for 3 and a half years, building and repairing P39 and P49 bombers.
After the war, he enrolled again in 1946. But this time, he had to drop out to take care of his sick wife.
The multiple setbacks led him to put school on the back burner and focus on his career. Working at various factories and plants, he also found a passion in woodwork, handcrafting birds and other figurines that he sells in many states.
Finally, Brutto decided it was time to hit the books again and give it another shot. The price was a bit different, but his determination was the same.
Brutto says it was always important for him to graduate. When asked by a university interviewer about plans for a master’s degree, Brutto just laughed and said “No. I think I’ll take a break for a while.” Congratulations, Anthony!