WWII vet graduates from USC as oldest grad in school's history

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Thousands of students will become graduates of USC Friday, and among them will be a World War II veteran considered to be the oldest graduate ever at the campus. (KABC)

Thousands of students will become graduates of University of Southern California Friday, and among them will be a World War II veteran considered to be the oldest graduate ever at the campus.

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Alfonso Gonzales, 96, who goes by the name "Ponchie," went to USC in 1947. But because of his job, he was not able to attend the graduation ceremony in 1953.

Seventy years later, family members approached the university to get a copy of his diploma and they were told some pretty surprising news - he never graduated.

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For more than six decades, Gonzales thought he was a USC graduate. Still, the university was quick to help and crafted a single-unit independent course just for him to complete.

It was no surprise that Gonzales was still a great student after all these years. His professor said he was always diligent, dedicated, prepared and enthusiastic for class.

Click here to watch his family's reaction to his graduation.

Click here for more graduation stories, photos, and videos!
Related Topics:
societygraduationuscWorld War IIveterancollegesouthern californiaLos Angeles
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