90-year-old fulfills dream, graduates from Westminster College - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

90-year-old fulfills dream, graduates from Westminster College

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Dr. Paul Suorsa Dr. Paul Suorsa
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -

Almost 300 students make up Westminster College's class of 2019, but one hasn't been in a classroom in nearly 70 years.

Dr. Paul J. Suorsa, a retired Slippery Rock veterinarian returned to Westminster after leaving the college in 1952.

Suorsa originally enrolled as a chemistry major in 1949 before being accepted into the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Suorsa planned to take German classes that he needed for his bachelor's degree at Westminster when he arrived at Penn but not all of his credits transferred, leaving him two credit hours short.

Upon earning his Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (VMD) from Penn in 1956, Suorsa practiced veterinary medicine until his retirement in 2003.

In search of a gift for his father's 90th birthday, Dr. Daniel Suorsa reached out to Westminster to try and secure his father's dream of earning a bachelor's degree.

Dr. Jeffrey Coker approved Suorsa's request after talking it over with chemistry and language faculty.

"We all agreed that the degree should be conferred because German is no longer a modern requirement of a chemistry degree and Paul also has an extensive background in Finnish, thereby fulfilling the spirit of our current language requirement," said Coker.

Dr. Paul Suorsa is excited to finally earn his degree.

"I am surprised and delighted I will be obtaining my degree from Westminster College," said Suorsa. "Education has always been important to me and I am continuing to learn new things even now entering my 90s. I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing my education is at last complete."

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