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Man graduates from Georgetown University 60 years after starting on degree

HOUSTON – The year was 1959.

Carlos Sera was an undergraduate business student at Georgetown University. Sera said he always knew where he wanted to attend school.

"Where are you gonna go to school? I'm going to go to school at Georgetown," Sera said.

But in his final semester of school, with just four credit hours to go, his father lost his job as a Cuban diplomat to the United States.

"He, after 42 years, was told that he was no longer needed," Sera said.

Sera never finished his degree. He left school and went to work in international business. He eventually made Houston home.

"This town is something incredible," Sera said.

Sera never told anyone that he did not graduate. Recently, his daughter and granddaughter visited Georgetown. When they returned, they had stories and questions.

"And in that conversation with her grandfather, she found out that he didn't quite finish," Sera's daughter, Mayte Sera-Weitzman, said.

She contacted the president’s office at Georgetown. After months of research, a kind professor helped him remotely finish his degree. He has been working on his final report since December.

"It was his gift for Christmas. He opened up this present that says graduation in May 2018," Sera-Weitzman said.

She said instead of using the computer for his research, he relied on phone calls to accountants or conversations at the store to finish his work.

On Friday, as students graduate from Georgetown University, Sera will watch online from home while wearing his cap and gown. Because of serious heart problems, he cannot travel to Washington.

"My last stroke just took it all out of me," Sera said.

After a nearly 60-year delay, he will now be a graduate of Georgetown University.

"You have no idea how I have been fulfilled with the promise that maybe this can happen. That I can get my diploma. I will always be a Hoya," Sera said.