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78-year-old man receives his high school diploma 6 decades late due to pending book fee

78-year-old man receives his high school diploma 6 decades late due to pending book fee

Ted Sams officially graduated high school during a ceremony at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 27 alongside members of the 2022 class of San Gabriel High School.

A 78-year-old man has finally received his high school diploma something he was expected to be handed 60 years ago. Ted Sams officially graduated high school during a ceremony at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 27 alongside members of the 2022 class of San Gabriel High School.

San Gabriel resident was a high school senior in 1962, however, a slew of hurdles, including a $4.80 book fee led him to leave school without collecting his diploma. His troubles began the same year after he was suspended just five days before the school year ended for "just screwing around," according to Sams.

This eventually led him to miss an important final exam, which he ultimately made up for over the summer. The next hindrance in his quest to graduate high school was the book fees. It was apparently the final straw. "When I went back with my grade they wouldn't give me my diploma because I owed $4.80 for a book and so I just walked away and said forget it," he told KABC-TV.



 

In the heat of the moment, Sams chose to walk away but continued regretting the decision for years. He would often share the story of not being able to walk at his own high school graduation due to a pending book fee. "Over the years, I complained to my kids a number of times about how $4.80 kept me from having my diploma," he shared.

Thus Sams' daughters Sherry and Sally and their husbands contacted the school after their dad's diploma a few months before this year's ceremony. They also attended the graduation function to cheer their old man. "Just to see this fulfilled, I guess, was, yeah, got choked up a bit," explained Sally. "Especially when I was filming it, everybody congratulating him, shaking his hand and then the whole crowd cheering for him was very special. It was fun."

Source: Facebook | Alhambra Unified School District

Ahead of the ceremony, Sams told The Pasadena Star-News that he was both excited and nervous about the big day. Later, he dubbed it one of the best days of his life. "When you get your picture taken and people are cheering for you, what do you expect? I didn't expect all of that, either, but what can I say?" expressed the California man. 

Sherry revealed how everyone on stage hugged her father "when he walked and got his diploma" and how "everyone, and I think most of the people in the stands, too, were cheering and applauding." She added, "They knew he was there from 1962 and they knew his story because the principal had talked about it so both myself and my sister got teary because kind of the whole stadium came to a standstill."

The Alhambra Unified School District later congratulated Sams on Facebook and called him "an unofficial member" of SGHS class of 2022.

Cover image source: Facebook | Alhambra Unified School District

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