A dream comes true for 93-year-old college student

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A dream comes true for 93-year-old graduate. Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on May 19, 2017. (WPVI)

A Philadelphia veteran is one of Villanova University's longest running students, and on Friday he realized his dream.

Irwin Medway received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the commencement ceremonies.

"The joy of getting old is you lived history, and made history, and that's what I did," Irwin said.

For 24 years, Irwin has been working towards his degree.

If you're wondering what drives him, he said, "I guess the answer is because I can. There will be a time when I cannot do what I'm doing."

At 93 years young, Irwin is living history.

"I survived World War II. I have a purple heart and a bronze star," he said.

And he's happy to tell you his story his way.

"Something I learned from getting older is that I have gotten very bold. So I'm not afraid of opening my mouth," said Irwin.

And he'd share his unedited wisdom with any student willing to listen.

"So now I'm a philosopher, and I'm saying and teaching things that I probably shouldn't say," Irwin said.

Irwin's teachers say he's a priceless resource.

"Any time my students can get a perspective of someone who has been through more of life, and soaked in more of the world, is classroom gold," Assistant Professor Tim Horner said.

They say he's not just interesting, but interested, truly believing that there is always something left to learn,"

"And I would write notes even though I didn't have to. And there's a page with the names of 43 professors," Irwin said.

"It's a great value for me, as a teacher, to have someone from the greatest generation with people 20 years old," Assistant Professor John O'Leary said.

Irwin sat in classes with other students the same age as his own grandchildren. He has seven, and one great grandchild.

And Irwin has one rule. "All we believe in is education. You must go to college," he said.
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Related Topics:
educationpennsylvania newsgraduationvillanovasenior citizensWorld War II
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