88-year-old from north Georgia graduates college

DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- Earlier this month, an inspiring octogenarian from north Georgia graduated college.

Allen Fleming was the star at the summer graduation ceremony for the University of North Georgia. He brought three dozen family members, who formed their own cheering section in the crowd -- all to watch Fleming get his diploma at age 88.

"What am I gonna do with it?" he said. "I'm gonna enlarge it, plaster it on the wall, and charge admission to look at it."

Fleming is a veteran of two wars, and he initially started college in 1947 after World War II. He dropped out to work and support his wife and children.

"After I got [the kids] out of the nest, I had time to do my own things," he said.

We first met Fleming in 2012, when the then 86-year-old decided to return to college. Between then and now, he received a major reason to stop. Last September, he had a stroke.

"I was ready to drop out, I was ready to let go, and my family encouraged me," he said. "I'm so proud that I got through, you know, and maybe it'll be an encouragement to other people. Maybe they'll say, 'Hey, if that old so-and-so can do it, maybe I can too.'"

At UNG's graduation, Fleming received a special mention and a standing ovation. Afterward, he received congratulations from numerous passersby, many of whom had never met or heard of Fleming until that day.

"It's not about me," Fleming said afterward. "It's about the chance to do something you enjoy doing."


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