Graduation at CSU was truly one of a kind this year, when a guy got his college diploma after 34 years.   In the final semester of his fifth year, back in 1984, Tom Klis needed an easy 'A' to graduate – All he needed to do was show up.

I never went.  'Cause it was 8 o'clock in the morning.  And I had things to do.  Like sleep, from the night before.

His frustrated instructor gave him an F, taking his grade point average to a 2.0.

Klis went on to restaurant work, then was a garbage man for about 30 years.  His wife passed away when their daughter was just 3, and Klis continued to work away.  Three years ago, at around age 50, drinking had about gotten the best of him, and he nearly died of kidney failure.

That led him to sobriety, and this past January CSU allowed him back in.

I just didn't know, ya know?  Are the kids gonna like me, are they gonna accept me?  Everybody sat AWAY from me.  It was pretty obvious.  By the end of the last class, I had everyone sitting around me, I was sitting by them.  They took me under their wing, and they... They helped me so much.

Tom's dream was to be a forest ranger.  Now, he has a degree in Watershed Science.

CSU makes note of his "unique set of credentials" and gives the rundown of Klis' amazing, one-of-a-kind story, and some key people who made this second chance possible, here.

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