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91-Year-Old To Graduate From Virginia Western - abc27 WHTM

91-Year-Old To Graduate From Virginia Western

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Roanoke, VA - A 91-year-old man who served in the Air Force during World War II is set to graduate from Virginia Western Community College Friday.

Mel Quinn has become quite the celebrity around the Virginia Western campus.   After ten years of hard work the 91-year old is a day from graduation. 

"I made up my mind (that) if I don't get an A... I'm done. Finished. So I worked very hard. Didn't come easy," said Quinn.

He got those straight A's... something he didn't do when he was younger. After which he answered his country's call by enlisting in the Air Force during World War II - although he never saw action. 

After, he played semi-pro baseball for the Roanoke Red Sox and became a successful businessman. But something was missing and once he started school again... he couldn't stop.

"If you are interested in what you are doing it really helps your body and your mind," said Quinn.
Associate Professor Sarah Chitwood has been at Quinn's side since Day 1.

"He would plop himself down in the middle of two of the youngest ones and he just... it was never intimidating to him... ever. It was an opportunity for him," said Chitwood. 

All a big deal for Quinn's family as well.

"He's always said you can sit there in that chair and turn on the TV or you can keep going and he's decided to keep going," said Quinn's daughter, Anne Webb.

As the family patriarch adds another story to a legacy that is about living life to the fullest.

"When you're young you can't wait to get out of school. When you are old you hope it never ends."

Quinn's focus for his Associate's of Art was in French.

 He is set to accept his diploma, with more than 500 other Virginia Western students, at the Salem Civic Center Friday night at 6:30.



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