96-year old Bob Barger, a WWII naval flight officer, graduated from the University of Toledo yesterday, receiving a diploma he earned back in 1950. Barger was taking a full class load at UT from 1947 to 1950, but had to drop up to find work and care for his wife and two children.
Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, USNR, is friends with Mr. Barger, asking the veteran to officiate his promotion to Lieutenant (O-3). When Ghanbari, who is director of military and veterans affairs at the university, learned that Barger had attended the school without graduating, he searched for the former naval aviator’s records.
After finding and reviewing Barger’s transcripts, it was determined that he had enough semester hour to qualify for an associates degree (something that didn’t exist back in 1950).
Dressed in cap and gown, and assisted by Lt. Ghanbari, Barger was first in line to march for his diploma Saturday. Barger, the patriarch of a family that includes four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. was thrilled to receive the honor. “My grandson graduated from UT, and he no longer can say he is one up on me,” Barger said in a statement released by the university. “I have a degree too. It just took me a while!”