Ninety-five-year-old man to get associate#039;s degree from Toledo

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 5, 2003

TOLEDO (AP) - Don Flickinger's idea of celebrating the degree that he started working on 75 years ago likely will be much different than his younger classmates.

"At my age, celebrating means getting into bed for a good nap," Flickinger said.

Flickinger will be two days shy of his 96th birthday when he gets his associate's degree in technical studies from the University of Toledo on Saturday. He will be the oldest person to have graduated from the school.

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"I'm ecstatic," he said last week from his apartment in a retirement village.

Flickinger began taking classes in 1928, the same year Calvin Coolidge was president and Babe Ruth was hitting home runs for the Yankees.

When the Depression started, he had to quit school. He took more classes after he returned to the university in 1966 as an employee.

Retirement and travel put another gap in his transcript. He returned in 2001 when he took an independent study that led to the degree.

"I am trying to show my great-grandchildren that it's possible, even at my age," he said.

With the associate's degree in hand, Flickinger now wants to go for a bachelor's degree.