Many students graduated over this past weekend, but one New Bedford student stood out among the rest at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School commencement ceremony.

On Saturday, June 5, Roger Seney walked the stage and received his diploma at 84 years old. He was originally supposed to graduate back in 1953, but ended up enlisting into the Air Force instead before he could finish high school. Fast forward 68 years later, and Seney is officially an honorary graduate from GNB Voc-Tech.

"It was very nice to receive the diploma that I should have received back in 1953," Seney said. "It felt great to be able to hold the diploma in my hands and I felt very humble to get that, especially since I had just turned 84 back on May 23rd. It was something special for me."

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The Korean War was ongoing when Seney enlisted when he was only 17 years old. In order to serve, his mother had to sign his papers.

"I liked the Air Force, always wanted to be in the Air Force and wanted to serve my country," Seney said.

These days, Seney can be found volunteering down in Fort Taber and enjoying his retirement with his four children, seven grandchildren and his wife, who is currently residing at Sacred Heart Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitative Care in New Bedford.

Has Seney now given any thought to achieving his bachelor's degree?

"Yes, I could," he said.

When asked if there was a message for anyone out there who left high school early like he did to serve in the military, he said it's best for them "to finish their high school, then pursue going into the service."

Seney concluded with one simple statement for anyone looking to complete their education.

"It's never too late," he said.

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