An exceptional 74-year-old man, Bobby Bell has inspired many across the world after earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, United States, many years after leaving school.
Bobby Bell, now 82, was a Pro Football Hall of Famer who had to leave school to focus on his football career after he enrolled at the university in 1959. However, Fifty-two years after he left campus for pro football, Bell returned to earn his degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies.
According to him, he made a promise to his father when he left home at 18 to ensure that he earns a Bachelor’s degree. He narrated his story in a letter written by him to his graduation class.
He explained that since he recorded a successful career in Super Bowl and Football, he had always had one thing missing which he has now achieved at the age of 74. “However, one thing was always missing. I have rooms full of plaques and trophies, but I did not have my college diploma,” he said.
“When I was 18 and left my home in Shelby, N.C., I told my father I would complete my education. When I was declared for the 1963 AFL draft, I was 17 credits shy of completing my degree. Then football happened, and life happened, and I never went back,” he narrated.
“My father died, and my mother died, and every year I told myself, “This is the year.” Finally, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer. Life is too short. The University of Minnesota dug up my handwritten transcripts and worked with me to figure out a plan. It was going to be difficult, but hey, I’ve done some difficult things in my life,” he continued.