CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An 84-year-old alumnus of Cleveland State University finally walked across the stage after a 61-year wait.
Richard Veres finished his degree at the Fenn College of Engineering in 1956, but before he could attend graduation he was drafted into the army.
"The big disappointment was that I was the first college graduate in the extended family so it was kind of like a very special occasion that unfortunately kind of passed us by," said Veres.
But Veres explained that good things came from that detour. He got married and after serving for two years he had a long and successful career.
He also had three children. It was one of his daughters who told CSU about her father's missed graduation all those years ago.
"She wrote a letter to CSU, and got a nice positive response," said Veres.
Cleveland State honored him at this year's commencement.
"Today was exhilarating for me it was just beyond belief. I didn't expect anything near this, I feel so honored," said Veres.
It was a full circle moment that he said he wished other family members could have seen including his wife who passed away last year.
"She was my rock," said Veres.
Although Veres regretted missing his graduation he said he believes that his 61-year journey to get back to CSU happened just how it should have. He shared his advice for others on handling unexpected events in life.
"Don't worry about few bumps in the road early on if they happen it will turn into good things, I can vouch for that," said Veres.