OSWEGO – Eight decades after Howard Hall walked the halls of Oswego High School, he was proud to accept an honorary diploma from the Oswego City School District.
What began as a fear of academic failure transformed years later into pride, as Hall said he wanted to set the best example for his family.
“You just gotta have it,” he said.
Hall showed off his two varsity letters he received in the late 1930s from his participation on the football and gymnastics teams and shared stories of how he can still do pushups, “but not too often” now.
At the age of 19, he said “everything happened so quickly” in his life that he hadn’t realized back then how significant it would be for him to get a diploma.
His son, John, shared a few remarks about his dad, including how he went on to get married, raise a family and serve during World War II in the South Pacific.
“It’s an important day,” John Hall said. “The message is that education is important; always life learning is important, and a diploma is important. Like today, he has had children watching, grandchildren watching and great-grandchildren watching. It’s never too late.”
OCSD Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey and board of Eeucation president Heather DelConte presented the diploma to Hall, along with an Oswego High School commencement program, where he was listed as a member of the OHS Class of 1939.
Current OHS Principal Patrick Wallace was elated to participate in the recognition, as was OHS social studies teacher and colonel with the New York Army National Guard Benjamin Richardson.
Richardson presented Hall with some Buccaneer “swag.”
Dr. Goewey said as he has spent the 2018-19 school year looking back on OCSD’s history, awarding Hall the honorary diploma was an absolute joy.