81-year-old to graduate from USF this weekend

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Way Bandy is fulfilling a promise he made to his parents five decades ago this weekend.

Bandy. 81, first enrolled in college in 1957, after two years, however, he dropped out of college to get married and raise three kids.

Before he left, he made a promise to his parents and himself that he would return one day to earn his bachelor’s degree.

Now over 50 years later he is finally accomplishing his goal.

For 20 years, Bandy took night classes to fulfill that commitment, but the last class was in 1978.

Once Bandy retired he decided to see just how close he was to graduate.

“I don’t know how they did that because it was transcripts from so many different schools,” Bandy said.

Turns out Bandy just needed one more class.

Julie Harding, Bandy’s advisor helped him through that class, even when he thought it would be too much.

“I was able to help him and find out how to put help him and put the puzzle together,” Harding said.

Bandy can’t wait to finally walk across that stage on Saturday saying it will be a moment he truly will cherish.

“I told somebody the other day that I’m gonna walk real slow across that stage,” he said. “I’m living proof that if you make it your dream and you can fulfill it yourself.”

Bandy will get his bachelor’s degree in General Studies at USF St Petersburg’s 5 p.m. ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 15.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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