85 Year Old US Navy Vet Accepts High School Diploma - Daily Hudson Valley News

85 Year Old US Navy Vet Accepts High School Diploma

Jun 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article

Completing high school and accepting your diploma with the rest of your classmates is a right of passage for America’s youth. For most, that happens a few short days after the end of the academic school year. For one Newburgh man, it was 68 years in the making. Eighty-five year old George Whalen earned his diploma, but missed out on his own graduation ceremony in 1945 to serve in the United States Navy during WWII. Whalen had shipped out to Sampson Naval Base in upstate New York three weeks earlier.

George Whalen NFA Graduation Newburgh NY

85 year old George Whalen at Tuesday night’s ceremony – photo provided by Shawn McGrath

After the war, Whalen returned to New York, where he married and raised 10 children.

On Tuesday night at Newburgh Free Academy‘s 148th commencement, Whalen donned a cap and gown and walked into Academy Field with the other graduates from the class of 2013, including his granddaughter, Emily Hovey. It was a moment well deserved and long overdue.

We here at Hudson Valley Insider extend our congratulations to Mr. Whalen; proud graduate of Newburgh Free Academy.


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