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'This time, I did it' | 75-year-old receives high school diploma

Arthur Gordon's inspiration was to be a role model for his grandkids.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — For most students, going back to school after summer vacation is tough. Now imagine entering the classroom again more than 50 years later.

Graduation ceremonies are often similar. Youthful students ready to leave school and take on the world.

At 75-years-old, however, Arthur Gordon has already taken on the world.

But there's one thing he never accomplished.

"I came back again, and this time I did it," proclaims Gordon. "Don't throw in the towel."

More than 50 years after beginning, Gordon now has his high school diploma from Orchard View Adult Education.

"I started years ago, but life calls you to do some other things and so I gave up," says Gordon.

But not forever. Coming back to class felt different this time around.

"Oh my, it was difficult," says Gordon. "A whole lot of things have changed. But thank God I'm still here!"

But the challenge didn't deter him.

"All you need is just a little push," he says.

For Gordon, that push was to be a role model for his grandkids.

"How they should go back to school, get their education, and be whatever they can be in life," says Annie Gordon, Arthur's wife of 56 years.

She couldn't be happier for her husband.

"I'm so proud of him," Annie says.

And Gordon himself feels proud, as well.

While he doesn't plan to put the diploma to use in a a traditional sense, he's satisfied with the lesson future generations of his family will learn from him.

"You may stumble and fall, but keep trying," says Gordon. "All you have to do is just get back up and you can complete your obligations, complete what you want to do in life."

Gordon says he couldn't have graduated without the help of his teachers. And now that he doesn't have any more classes, he plans to spend that extra free time with his wife.

    

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