A 77-year-old military veteran identified as Timothy Brown graduated with a degree from South Carolina State University after he dropped out for more than four decades.
“It could be a lesson for maybe the next person to see how a 77-year-old can, you know, if I can do it, anybody can do it, trust me,” said Brown.
Brown is a military veteran who served in the Vietnam War. In 1972, he dropped out of Compton Community College. For more than four decades, education took a back seat to his job as a bus driver.
“It’s like a ministry where you’re helping folk with their lives,” Brown said. “That’s the most rewarding thing, I think, just to be able to be there for people and help them get back and forth.”
For years, Brown drove for Greyhound, and was even called to drive B.B. King and his band on tour.
“I just happened to be sitting there when the call came in,” Brown said. “That’s how I met my wife, because had I not worked for King, I would’ve never ended up in New York to meet my wife.”
In 2018, Brown joined the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Vocational Rehab program, which allowed him to attend SC State while still working. He received his degree in drama.
“Like my wife said, ‘I finally finished something, and it feels good.”
While in the program, he wrote a play based on his experience driving a Greyhound bus for thousands of miles from California to Washington D.C. to see Martin Luther King Jr.’s last march.
“That was probably the most rewarding because when he finished his speech, he came into the crowd and was shaking everybody’s hand, and we just happened to be in his path.”
Brown is working on a proposal to present to South Carolina State University to move forward with production. The goal is to bring the play to the stage next year
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