Law Students

66-Year-Old Michigan Law Grad Used 1960s Acceptance Letter

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When John Graves re-applied to law school at the University of Michigan, he relied on a Vietnam-era letter promising accepted students entry into any future class.

The school made good on the promise. Graves graduated cum laude in December at the age of 66, reports.

Graves didn’t enroll when he got the acceptance letter in the 1960s because of a sick father and financial concerns. Instead, he went to work as a teacher and football coach, earned a doctorate in education administration, and was a superintendent for five school districts. Yet he never put aside the dream of law school.

When he resigned to go to law school, Graves supervised more than 500 staffers. He had an executive secretary who handled his email and scheduling, but that changed in law school, the story says. He recalls second-guessing his decision when sitting in a criminal law class taking a timed test.

“You sit in class and you watch these kids sitting at their desks and their hands flying over their computers. Mine don’t do that,” he told Still, he’s glad he didn’t pursue a traditional retirement.

“Some people like to fish. Some people like to play golf or build a boat in their basement. I find the study of law to be a very intriguing experience,” he told the publication. He’s still considering his options and doesn’t know whether he will work, volunteer or hit the golf course.

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