87-year-old heading back to school to finish degree at Fordham University

FORDHAM, Bronx (WABC) -- It's never too late to accomplish your dreams and an 87-year-old man is proving just that as he heads back to college to finish his degree.

John Lenehan, originally from Connecticut, has some unfinished business to take care of at Fordham University. He is ready to address something he started 65 years ago but never finished.

At first his plan was a big secret and he didn't tell his family.

"I didn't want to make an announcement and then go back and disappoint anybody," Lenehan said.

In the end he didn't. The 87-year-old is now ironing out final details as he gets ready to head back to school. He is the oldest person to ever do that at Fordham.



"He wrote to me and said this is the happiest day since his wedding day," said Anthony Davidson with Fordham.

In 1956, after serving two years in the military, Lenehan entered his freshman year at Fordham. At that time it was located at 302 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

But over the years, between work and family, he never got to finish school and it's something he says he always regretted.

Then in May of this year, he woke up in the middle of the night, thinking of his grandchildren who are college graduates.

"Some are now doctors, lawyers, PhDs, and I said to myself, why can't I," Lenehan said.

The day he got his acceptance letter was May 12. And it was special for another reason too.

Lenehan and his wife have six kids, 13 grandchildren and their very first great-great grandchild, Tully Keegan, was born on that very day.

"They were curious if I had any desires on further education, I'll be happy with my degree from Fordham," Lenehan said.

He starts school in the fall -- remotely from his home in Clearwater, Florida. He has enough credits, coupled with life experience, that he'll be a senior in the class of 2022.

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