At age 72, Sam Kaplan just received his bachelor's degree in Cinema and Media Arts from Georgia Gwinnett College. The father of five (and grandfather of 15!) decided to continue his education over 50 years after his high school graduation, becoming the first of his seven siblings to earn a college degree.
Kaplan says at age 68 he was driving down the road when he heard a radio advertisement for the university's degree program in screenwriting. A few minutes later, he pulled off the exit and registered for classes the following semester.
It was not easy going back to school after such a long hiatus from academic life, and Kaplan admits that he was nervous about going to school with his fellow classmates being some 50 years younger than him. But during his four years at Georgia Gwinnett, he became popular with both faculty and students.
One of his professors, Kate Balsley said of Kaplan,
He'd always participate and would offer advice and assistance to his classmates. Sam was always willing to share photos and stories about his interesting life and his family. We're so proud to see him graduate, but we will miss him.
After four years of hard work, he graduated last month, and the icing on the cake was that his 99-year-old mother was able to be in attendance to see him receive his diploma.
She's very excited. She's excited, happy and proud.
Congrats to Kaplan and best wishes for his screenwriting career!