Independent living resident Bob Dwyer, 90, on Monday will become the oldest known person to graduate from Northeastern Illinois University.

His degree will be in interdisciplinary studies, which he told the Chicago Tribune he selected as his major because it provided him with the opportunity to take courses in a variety of subjects.

The degree was a long time in the works. Dwyer began his college education decades ago after serving in the Army. He attended Wright College and then Chicago Teachers College, planning to become a teacher.

But he and his wife, Peggy, whom he’d met at Wright College, married in 1956, and Dwyer left college and began working in manufacturing. His wife died in 2010, and Dwyer said he returned to college a couple of years ago as a way to help himself as he mourned.

“Because of being interested in things, you’re moving around, you’re going places, you’re visiting places, talking to people,” he told ABC7Chicago. “I think all of those things keep your body active and your mind active.”

Dwyer’s nine children, and most of his 22 grandchildren, plan to celebrate with him on Monday. He also has three great-grandchildren.

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