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Even though Van McKellar (pictured) made the decision to drop out of high school in 1956, after he was homeschooled with his daughter five years ago, he decided to enroll at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. Now, at 72-years-young, McKellar has graduated cum laude from the school and wants to serve as a shining example to others that it is never too late to get an education, reports the Huffington Post.

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McKellar, who has worked as a mechanic most of his adult life to support his family, was not satisfied with just working his blue-collar job, saying, “Something was missing.”

However, going back to school was not going to be a breeze for the septuagenarian. Not only was he dealing with age-related ailments like arthritis, but he also had to actually attend school with folks who were his grandchildren’s ages.

Eventually, though, McKellar forged past the challenges of returning to school and actually began to assimilate, stating that he eventually felt like one of the 20-somethings at his college, “Of course, my arthritis and other things that come to you when you’re 70 let me know that I was not. But I felt like a college student.”

Watch McKellar being interviewed here:

The college grad, who has only now decided to make his story public, earned an African-American studies major and History minor degree with high honors in 2012.

McKellar is hoping that all of the hard work he put in to earning his degree will inspire his children to go to the school, “Hey, if Dad can go to college, then I can go to college.” McKellar is also hoping that his brave educational move will encourage other young people to shoot for the stars.

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