ATLANTA - Decades after he first began his quest for a diploma, an 81-year-old man received his diploma from Georgia State University on Saturday.
Joseph Crews Jr. was born on August 31, 1934 in Amityville, New York. Growing up he thought he wanted to be a teacher.
"That lasted a semester," Crews joked. "It was boring. And then I went into the military."
Crews went back to school when he was in his 60’s, but a diagnosis of prostate cancer put his aspirations on hold.
"I really thought that was the end of the road and I was going to enjoy myself as long as I possibly could, until the end came," he said. "Well, the end didn't come."
During radiation treatment, while working, Crews continued to go to class. However, he didn't complete courses as fast as his school wanted and left without graduating... but with a new love.
"I was stuck on economics."
Crews eventually beat the cancer and retired. His loved ones in Atlanta encouraged him to go back to school. That's when he enrolled at GSU as part of their GSU62 program for seniors.
It wasn't easy at first.
"I got lost trying to find the MARTA station," he told FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt.
"Everything that you do, you make a choice," he said. "There's one choice that's good. One choice that's bad."
The choice to finish what he started so many years ago, he calls "economics in action."
"The only thing we're not making more of is time. So you better use this time as you can, when you can. You don't need to wait like I did," Crews said. "I'm going to enjoy every minute of it."
Crews said he will hang his diploma on his granddaughter's wall. He wants her to hang her own eventually right next to it.