At 47, military veteran goes from intern to college grad

Tony Hutchins is also battling skin cancer on his path to graduation day.

May 12, 2017, 10:24 AM

— -- A 47-year-old man working as an intern has inspired those around him. If it sounds like something out of Hollywood, that's probably because the same idea was the subject of the 2015 Robert De Niro film "The Intern."

But the real-life story of Tony Hutchins as an intern is currently unfolding in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Hutchins, who served his country in the military for 26 years, has been interning at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, assisting with the school’s facilities and preparing their athletic venues for sporting events.

And he’s been doing all of this while battling skin cancer and working toward a degree in sports management from the University of Tennessee.

"That’s a skill that the military taught us is never give up," Hutchins told the ABC affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville.

Hutchins’ story was in the spotlight on Thursday night at Sacred Heart’s athletic banquet where he was recognized for his contributions to the "Home of the Eagles."

"He has humbled all of us because we see Tony and everyday he literally carries the wounds on his body from his service to his cancer and he never complains," Sacred Heart’s athletic director Scott Barrons said.

In a video that played at the banquet, coach Butch Jones also praised the school’s intern for "impacting lives on a daily basis."

Hutchins’ internship may be reaching its end, but a new chapter will be added to his story when he graduates from the University of Knoxville today.

After graduation day, Hutchins hopes to become an athletic director at a school in Knoxville.

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