Medgar Evers College hosted a congratulatory event for an 87-year-old graduate of class of 2016 on Tuesday.
Hubert Evans, a safety officer for Brooklyn College, graduated in January but was unable to walk at his graduation two weeks ago. But Evans was delighted to be awarded and celebrated at a special event on June 7 in the presence of his peers and college officials.
“I feel excellent,” said Evans.
The political science major and physics minor, experienced a long journey to reach this milestone achievement. After taking his GED and a City University of New York entrance exam, Evans says that his drive and his family helped him complete school.
“Always strive for the best and be truthful. Strive for the best and work hard,” said Evans. “I’ve been through a rough journey, but I survived and I keep on working.”
Evans came to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica in 1980. In Jamaica, he served in the Jamaica Defence Force, before taking up a job at a bank and then coming here. Evans says his family and friends encouraged him to go to school and pursue a degree. Even at his age, Evans found a struggle many college students find themselves at — he found American history to be a challenging course.
“I didn’t know much about American history,” said Evans, who also cited geography as his favorite course.
College officials praised Evans for being a shining example for his peers in showing that education can be achieved without being straight-A student.
“He had a strong B from what I understand. Those rankings for me at least, are not the important part of the story here,” said Rudy Crew, president of Medgar Evers College. “The real issue is that we have a man here who clearly understands the value of an education, and in that sense he really is a role model for all of us.”
Accompanied by his wife at his ceremony, Evans was presented with citation honors from Governor Cuomo and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Evans, who will turn 88 years old in October, hopes to pursue a career in social work and go back to school, but not before taking a break.
“First I’m going to steady my nerves first and move on,” said Evans.