He returned to college after a 50 year gap and joined full time to complete his unfinished degree. His perseverance paid off, when he received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the age of 87.
Clarence Garrett, a Baltimore native, served as a civilian at the U.S. Navy facility in Virginia before World War II. After the war began, he was shipped out to serve the segregated Army in Europe.
After returning from his war duties, he settled in Milwaukee and took courses at the college that later became University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. But he had to give up his education in order to raise his family.
Then, 50 years later he decided to go back to school. Garrett told the Associated Press: "After all my children went to college ... I said, 'Why shouldn't I?'…And I have loved it ever since."He returned to college in spring of 2006 as a full time student and completed his work this year. He was awarded his bachelor’s degree at the commencement ceremonies Sunday.
His wife, Mary, his children and grandchildren were on hand to see this ceremony. He was also chosen to lead the graduates from the College of Letters and Science into the U.S. Cellular Arena and received a standing ovation when he was awarded the degree.