In a heartwarming display of defying age limitations, Sam Kaplan, a 72-year-old graduate, received his bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Media Arts at Georgia Gwinnett College’s spring 2023 commencement. Despite the challenges that came with returning to school after 50 years, Kaplan’s perseverance and dedication shone through as he walked across the stage to accept his well-deserved diploma.
In a TikTok video capturing the memorable moment, Kaplan expressed his overwhelming happiness, stating, “I’m ecstatic. I’m very happy. I’ve got a lot of emotions going through me right now. I’m just glad to be here.”
Kaplan’s journey back to academia was a significant decision he made at the age of 68. After a life filled with various job roles and responsibilities, he felt drawn to pursue his passion for scriptwriting, which led him to Georgia Gwinnett College.
Overcoming initial nerves about blending in with younger students, Kaplan set a personal goal of connecting with at least one student per day, sparking conversations about their aspirations and dreams.
Through these interactions, he discovered common ground and formed strong bonds with his classmates. His warm personality and willingness to support his peers earned him admiration from both students and faculty members alike.
Surrounded by his loved ones, including his 99-year-old mother and several children, Kaplan proudly received his diploma, marking a significant milestone in his life. Reflecting on his father’s sacrifices, his son, Brett Kaplan, expressed immense pride and gratitude for the support his father provided throughout their educational journeys.
With his degree in hand, Kaplan is now ready to pursue his dream of becoming a film and television screenwriter, confident that more remarkable achievements await him on his path.