Ted Sams, 78, earned his high school diploma with kids from the San Gabriel High School class of 2022 on May 27, 60 years after he graduated.
The Pasadena-Star News reported that the ceremony took place at the Rose Bowls in Pasadena. Sams said he was excited about his graduation. He replied, “Just a smidgeon, you see, about the ceremony. Once I get in line and established, I think it’ll be okay. In particular, I’m looking forward to the fact that it’ll be here soon.”
He continued, “This thing got so out of hand, I can’t believe it.”. Sams, a senior in high school in 1962, dropped out due to a series of setbacks, including a $4.80 book price.
Sams’ problems began in 1962, when he was suspended just five days before the end of the school year for “screwing around”. Because of the trauma, he missed a crucial final exam, which he made up over the summer. One more stumbling block stood in the way of his diploma. “They wouldn’t give me my certificate because I owed $4.80 for a book,” he told KABC-TV. He claimed, “So I walked away and said about it.”.
Sams regrets not being able to attend his high school graduation. Over the years, I have complained to my kids about how $4.80 delayed me from getting my diploma.
Sally and Shirley, his daughters, decided to take action after hearing their father’s story several times. The staff at the institution went to great lengths to locate Sams’ original diploma from 60 years ago. Principal Debbie Stone encouraged Sams to walk with the class of ’22 when she found the diploma.
Sams’ wife, daughters Sherry and Sally, and their husbands attended Sams’ graduation ceremony. “When he walked across the stage and received his diploma, everyone on that stage hugged him, and then everyone applauded for him,” Sherry continued.
“Everyone, and I believe most of the people in the stands, cheered and applauded,” she added.
The moment was captured by Sally. “She said,” she remarked, “I got choked up just seeing this come to fruition.”.
It was truly a special moment when everyone praised him, shook his hand, and then the entire audience applauded for him, especially since I was shooting it. I enjoyed it.”
In the days following Sams’ graduation, the Alhambra Unified School District celebrated his achievements on Facebook. “We enjoyed meeting you and your wonderful family and are happy to have helped fulfill your 60-year-old dream,” they wrote in the post.