PORTLAND -- A Northeast Portland man finally got to collect his high school diploma this month, more than 60 years after his graduation date.
Herman Anderson, now 84, struggled to learn at Benson high School in the late 1940’s, “Some things stuck but others didn’t, so I dropped out and it was the biggest regret of my life,” he said.
Anderson shared his regret with the activities director at the Marquis Piedmont Assisted Living Facility.
“I like to ask the residents what one thing they dream of doing and for Herman, it was walking at graduation,” recalled Hannah Trap Hagan.
So the Marquis staff organized a ceremony at the facility complete with a balloon arch and cap and gown.
“We could tell he appreciates the school and thought of it with great affection,” said Benson Vice Principal Jeandre Carborne.
She attended the ceremony at Marquis Piedmont and handed Herman an honorary diploma.
Anderson said he also wanted to use his moment in the spotlight to send this message to today’s high school students:
“Don’t drop out. Once you quit [school], it becomes easier to quit other things in life. So stick with it and read all you can.”