Dennis Baca spent years fighting for the U.S. in World War II. But in a rush to enlist, Baca left high school and never was able to receive his diploma from Albuquerque High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Now 89, Baca was finally awarded his diploma 70 years after he left the school in 1944. He even donned the traditional cap and gown to receive his diploma from the current principal of Albuquerque High School.
At the ceremony, school superintendent Winston Brooks cited Baca as an inspiration for current students.
“This man and his family are such good role models for students and all of us today because they believe that education is important enough to come back all these years later to receive their high school diploma,” Brooks said in a statement on the Albuquerque Public Schools website.