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Three Generations from One Family Graduate from High School

Three Generations from One Family Graduate from High School

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingA Salt Lake County family has a lot of reason to celebrate this graduation season, that's because three generations of their family have just earned their high school diplomas. The grandfather, father and daughter are all donning the cap and gowns.

Of all the things they've done together, James Nunley and his dad Jim never thought they'd be graduating high school together. "It's been 54 years since I quit school," Jim said.

Jim left high school with three months left, to go work, but he'd always thought about completing his education. So when some friends at the Granite Peaks adult high school completion program suggested he go for it, he didn't need much prompting.

Jim told us, "They got talking to me and finally I decided to do that. So I called my son and told him what I was gonna do, and he said, ‘Well, I want to do that.'"

James, Jim's son, said, "Why not? It's not every day you get to graduate with your dad!"

James had also dropped out of school with a month left. When they learned they could get a full diploma, father and son decided to hit the books.

"I'd go to work, come back and go up to my room and study every single day for a month," James said.

"When you're 72, your mind does wander a little bit while you're trying to study, so you have to really keep yourself in a groove," Jim says.

Education had also changed since these two had been in the classroom.

Jim says, "I had to do a computer class, and I've never touched a computer."

But after all their studies, they finally received that diploma, with James' daughter Brittany in the audience. That made it even more special since Brittany graduated from Hillcrest High just a few days later.

Brittany said, "It's kind of amazing, all three of us graduating at the same time, practically. I think it's kind of cool that I get to share that experience with them."

It's an experience all three generations of graduates say they'll never forget. James says at one point, Brittany was having a hard time with school and wanted to give up, but seeing that her dad and grandfather were working so hard pushed her to keep going and get her diploma.

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