Speed Reads

Better late than never

After 50 years, 67-year-old man finally able to walk in high school graduation procession

After a misunderstanding prevented him from participating in his high school graduation 50 years ago, Richard Zirpolo was finally able to experience it last week.

In 1964, Zirpolo was supposed to receive his diploma alongside 250 other young men at Xavier High School in Manhattan, The New York Times reports. During the ceremony, he was told that because he missed rehearsal, he wouldn't be able to take part, and was told to get out of the line. Zirpolo had a good reason for skipping the rehearsal — he had been in a car accident and ended up in the hospital, where he received 30 stitches on his jaw. A friend tried to tell the administration what happened, but they weren't swayed, and ended up just mailing him his diploma.

After hearing this story at the Class of 1964's reunion, Xavier High School's current president, Jack Raslowsky, wanted to make things right. So, Raslowsky invited Zirpolo to this year's ceremony, where he donned a robe and was given another diploma. His 95-year-old mother, who left the 1964 ceremony in tears, was on hand for the occasion. "If this was about me, I wouldn't have done it," Zirpolo said. "But my mom is still alive. I had to let her see me graduate."