Who is Jack Milton? 100-year-old WWII veteran gets college diploma nearly 60 years after graduation

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Who is Jack Milton? 100-year-old WWII veteran gets college diploma nearly 60 years after graduation

ByNikhita Mehta

May 05, 2024 10:06 PM IST

Jack Milton intended to take the stage at his graduation in 1966 after earning enough credits for his bachelor of arts degree.

A veteran U.S. air force pilot, who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, was recently invited to his alma mater to celebrate his 100th birthday along with honouring his contributions to the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Jack Milton: Celebrating His Long-Awaited Graduation at 100[X(formerly Twitter)/@nieceyreesey]
Jack Milton: Celebrating His Long-Awaited Graduation at 100[X(formerly Twitter)/@nieceyreesey]

However, upon reaching him, Jack Milton got his long-overdue graduation ceremony.

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“I’ve had many ceremonies throughout my life, fortunately, to celebrate many occasions, but this has to be the top,” Milton told Fox 5 DC.“I feel like this is the finale of a long journey in education—and again, I keep using the word appreciative, but I can’t think of any other word,” he added.

When Milton, now 100, was employed at the Pentagon in the 1960s, he enrolled at the University of Maryland Global Campus. The institution was known as the University of Maryland, at that time.

Both then and now, the school offers both in-person and online learning options and serves non-traditional college students, including veterans.

Jack Milton’s journey in the military

For 31 years, Jack Milton was a pilot for the military.

According to a 2021 feature in Achiever, the University of Maryland Global Campus magazine, he accumulated over 12,000 flight hours. He performed combat missions in Vietnam and received the Distinguished Flying Cross during his tenure in the Air Force.

Milton intended to take the stage at his graduation in 1966 after earning enough credits for his bachelor of arts degree.

However, he was called up to Vietnam before that could take place.

He always felt irked by the fact that he never formally received his diploma, he expressed.

“On my way to Southeast Asia, I had many thoughts about not being there to see my fellow graduates,” Milton told Fox 5 DC.

Decades later than it was meant to happen, University of Maryland Global Campus President Gregory Fowler, PhD, expressed his pride in presenting Milton with his diploma and graduation cap.

Jack Milton’s contribution to his alma mater

Jack Milton and his wife, Symantha Milton, continued to be active members of the University of Maryland Global Campus community after his return from Vietnam.

They provided particular assistance for the school’s active military and veteran programmes.

The John L. and Symantha Milton Scholarship Fund was founded by the Miltons in 2010, according to Achiever. It supports a different University of Maryland Global Campus scholarship fund that is especially intended for volunteers of disabled military service members.

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