Grandfather of African American descent Johnnie Jones, 83, recently graduated from Louisiana State University with a doctorate in human ecology.
He was the oldest Black person to ever obtain a degree from LSU. He also intends to enroll in law school in the fall of 2019.
Jones had to leave school when he was in the sixth grade decades ago in order to support his family following World War II.
When he enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18, he was unable to finish his education.
But when he observed that people with college degrees and high school diplomas frequently had greater work chances, he understood cc of the value of higher education.
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He attended night school to earn his diploma and, afterward, took junior college classes before being deployed as a sergeant to two combat tours during the Vietnam War.
Later on, he took advantage of correspondence courses offered by Louisiana State University while in Vietnam.
He retired from the military in 1973 and he also got his bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Hawaii by then.
After that, he pursued his master’s degree at LSU while working at a restaurant and later as a warden at the Louisiana Department of Corrections to support his family.
Last Friday, Jones became the eldest student to receive a graduate degree during the fall commencement at LSU and also the oldest Black person to receive a degree in the history of LSU.
He doesn’t want to stop just yet, despite his advanced age and his already impressive list of academic accomplishments. Next September, he intends to start law school.
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“Age is a fabricated restriction. The numbers 65, 75, 95, and 105 are not very magical. Your physical and mental fitness should serve as a guide for your conduct and activities, he told The Advocate.
“I’m going to sit back and enjoy life because we’ve been so brainwashed to think that once you reach a certain age, I’ve done my thing.”
That’s fine if that’s your thing to do. However, age doesn’t really matter to me. The question is if I have the capacity to carry out the tasks at hand.