Giuseppe Paterno, a 98-year-old Italian man, has again set another record for being the oldest graduate in Italy.
In addition to the basic degree in the same fields he received from the University of Palermo two years ago, Paterno now holds a Master’s in History and Philosophy from the same institution.
The news was shared by his family in a Facebook post that he once again received top marks for his recent degree.
After he gained his first degree in 2020, he said, “I’ve finally realised my dream. It’s one of the happiest days of my entire life. I only wish my wife were here to see me. She died 14 years ago.”
“My neighbours used to ask, ‘why all this trouble at your age?’ But they couldn’t understand the importance of reaching a dream, regardless of my age,” he added.
Paterno, who was born in 1923 and grew up in a low-income household in Sicily. Despite his passion for reading and learning, he was unable to attend college or receive basic education as a young man. Poverty, war and supporting a family got in the way.
The eldest of seven children, Paterno, got his first job when he assisted his father in a brewery in Palermo. Afterwards, he was a telegrapher for the Italian army at Trapani. This was the allied troops arrived in Sicily in July 1943.
Later, when he was 20 years old, Paterno started working for railroads after enlisting in the military to serve in World War II.
He has no plans to rest and wants to write a novel using his trusty typewriter.
This incident has inspired many.
Notably, many now believe that you can achieve whatever your heart desires, if you put in the work.