AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An man who abandoned plans to earn a business degree more than 50 years ago is to graduate Sunday from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Leo DiNuoscio, a retiree who lives in suburban Cuyahoga Falls, said he decided to finish the degree around the time of his 80th birthday last spring.
"Hey, when you reach 80, every year after that is a bonus," said DiNuoscio. "I thought, 'I better do this now.'"
The master's degree in business administration is the latest accomplishment for the Army veteran who earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in World War II.
DiNuoscio said he had completed his thesis at the Cleveland university in 1949 and was awaiting its final review for his degree when his faculty adviser left the school. Rather than wait for another adviser to be appointed, he found a job.
He was hired as an industrial engineer at Firestone in the early 1950s and stayed with the company for three decades. DiNuoscio said he wasn't able to return to school because he had to support his family.
Last summer, DiNuoscio asked officials Case Western's Weatherhead School of Management about finishing. School officials decided to allow him to complete his degree despite the unusually long hiatus from the classroom.
A Weatherhead professor reviewed the 161-page thesis he wrote in the 1940s -- an academic requirement the school has since dropped.
The school even waived its usual course fee for the thesis review.
The research reflects Akron's tiremaking past. DiNuoscio interviewed union and management officials at what were then the three major American rubber companies: Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone.
Today, only Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. remains an American company, with research and corporate offices in Akron and manufacturing elsewhere.