For well over 20 years, he took courses in math, engineering and physics, working during the day in Cleveland in his aerospace career and taking classes at night.
All courses that he said would help him advance in the 38-year-old career from which he is now retired.
Over the last 65 years, Greathouse put seven children through school, including college, but never actually earned his own degree.
“I had a lot of courses but none of them fit a degree,” said Greathouse.
“He has 96 credit hours and, all across the board, math,, physics, chemistry computer science engineering,” said his daughter, Jane Rotching, who contacted the University of Akron and said she quickly got a response about her father finally getting a degree.
Rotching said her father audited a number of the courses he took, otherwise, he might have qualified for a Bachelor’s degree.
On Monday, the university conferred on Greathouse an Associate Degree of Technical Studies.
“We evaluated his transcripts, and we have some capacity to give credit for service in certain activities as a citizen so, he meets all the requirements of the university,” said University of Akron President Dr. Gary Miller.
“It fits, pretty much, our focus on getting people a degree when they have a lot of experience that’s relevant to the degree and helping them advance in their careers and their lives,” said Dr. John Wiencek, executive vice president and provost of the University of Akron.
“Mr. Greathouse, with your life of service, your commitment to family and community, you have embodied that light that we are so proud to give the world as a graduate of this college and university,” said Mitchell McKinney, dean of the University of Akron College of Arts and Sciences.
“You are indeed an inspiration to me and to everyone in this room, its difficult to imagine a greater personal demonstration of the enduring value of a college degree,” said Miller.
With his graduation on Monday, Greathouse officially became the oldest person ever to have earned a diploma in the University of Akron’s 153-year history.
“It’s amazing being here today for two and two aspects. One, I’m 93 years old. I can’t believe it,” Gratehouse told those attending his commencement ceremony, including members of his family.
“I deeply appreciate the University of Akron because it was here I was able to get the tools I needed to get ahead, and that is what the whole thing was about. Thank you very much,” he added.
When asked what he intended to do with his new degree, Greathouse told Fox 8 he would “admire it.”
“It’s great to finally get some kind of degree that was my desire to do that,” he said.