PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Even the university president is a “kid” to hundred-year-old Leo Plunkett. Leo says he met Duquesne president Ken Gormley just last month.
“And he told me he wanted to present me with an honorary degree. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t graduate from the university, and here I am getting an honorary degree.”READ MORE: Erie Surgeon Who Has Battled Coronavirus Undergoes Successful Double-Lung Transplant At UPMC Presbyterian
The Great Depression was sapping the soul of America when Leo was a student. After three years at Duquesne, he dropped out and took a job at Kaufmann’s warehouse. When World War II followed, he joined he Army, and won the Bronze Star for heroism. Later, he married a woman who did graduate from Duquesne, and they had six children.
“He’s just overwhelmed,” said son Kevin Plunkett. “It’s such an honor. He’s very thankful, and just overwhelmed.”READ MORE: Building Partially Collapses In Perry South
Nearly eighty years after his classmates took the walk of graduation, Leo Plunkett joins the “Pomp and Circumstance.” The march of the millennials.
“I hereby confirm on you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, with all the privileges hereunto attached,” Duquesne’s president announced from the podium.
Coincidentally, one of Leo’s grandchildren is graduating from his college at the same time.MORE NEWS: 94-Year-Old World War II Veteran From Allegheny Co. Finally Receives High School Diploma
“Mine’s a little bit more advanced,” Leo said. “His will be a bachelor’s. I’m supposed to to be a doctorate.”