Athens State University grad gets diploma 45 years late

Larry Sharp started college in Athens in 1963.
Larry Sharp started college in Athens in 1963.

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Larry Sharp can reflect on three careers in education as a teacher and principal, a service man with the MP's, and canine trainer, and now he's an insurance associate.

Sharp started college in Athens in 1963.

"I finished my class work in 1966 after graduation. I was employed by Madison County Schools to teach and coach at Madison County High School, which would have been my fourth year of college, but in April of that year I got an invitation from President Johnson to come and serve in the Army," said Sharp.

That service took him to Fort Worth, Georgia in military police school and away from Founders Hall and the graduation ceremony.

"I don't know that I missed it back then. But as I grew older I started looking back and thinking that was something I really did miss and it was a significant day and I missed it," added Sharp.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, Sharp doesn't regret his 23 years in active and reserve service. He is a proud Vietnam Vet and believes "all young people should be in national service to their country."

"Over the years, I was able to employ teachers from Athens State and I could keep up with it that way, but to go back and to see the quality of graduates they were putting out the atmosphere on the campus ," added Sharp.

He said we all should be grateful to those people who have contributed to our lives.

He said his recent graduation from Athens holds special memories.

"When we walked on the campus, we were escorted into the president's office. We met Congressman Brooks and we met the state board of education members and all the people that were there," said Sharp. "It was just a wonderful experience, and they had gone out of their way to make my wife and my daughter feel good, feel wanted and I graduated with three of my third graders that were at Central School when I was principal."

Sharp has, no doubt, led an interesting life, and continues to do so playing golf and selling insurance in Bobby's Bama.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.