At 101 years old, Merrill Pittman Cooper has graduated from Storer College, achieving his lifelong dream of being a college graduate. Storer College was founded as a school for newly freed slaves in 1865 and was a valuable resource for Black students in West Virginia until it closed in the 1950s. Cooper studied at Storer from 1934-1938, but unfortunately had to drop out his senior year for financial reasons. Since then, Cooper went on to have a great career in transportation but has always regretted his lack of degree. Cooper’s family coordinated with the now-closed school, which is part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and Jefferson County Schools, to organize a graduation ceremony and diploma for Cooper. 80 years later, Cooper has finally checked the goal of graduating off his bucket list.
Image via Jefferson County Schools
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