If you have a goal you want to accomplish, it is NEVER too late. 101-year-old Merrill Pittman Cooper understands this perfectly. Cooper attended Storer College, which use to be a high school from 1934 – 1938. During the time while in high school, Cooper was forced to drop of during his senior when he moved from West Virginia to Philadelphia with his mother due to financial circumstances.
In a statement, Cooper had visited the school back in 2018 and expressed his regret that he was not able to finish high school and earn his diploma. Knowing this concern, his family looked to changed that for Cooper.
“Mr. Cooper’s family members reached out to park staff, who began a process of collaboration with local, regional, and state entities to honor Mr. Cooper, his time at Storer, and his life beyond its campus,” it’s stated.
This paid off for Cooper as he was awarded his diploma on March 21. On Jefferson County School Facebook page it states, “JCS was proud to be part of a collaborative effort to honor 101-year-old Storer College attendee Merrill Pittman Cooper with an honorary high school diploma. The recognition took place during a special graduation ceremony on March 19 with Mr. Cooper’s extended family in attendance.”
While Cooper was in school, he took college courses in Latin, Biology, History, English and Mathematics. During his time in high school, he had dreams to become a lawyer, according to ABC News. Once he moved to Philly, he lived their for 50 years and worked in the transportation industry. While in the transportation industry, he also became the first Black Union President for SEPTA workers.