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Janitor Graduates from Columbia

It is that time of year when senior students across the globe make that final push through semester exams, papers, and presentations to earn the honor of graduation.  Many of them have been infected for some time by that dreadful virus known as senioritis.  Graduation just can’t come too soon and the world beyond looks like their oyster, offering pearls of opportunity.  Sometimes, all too often in fact, they begin to lose sight of the true value of their education.  We all have at some point.

A recent article about a special graduate recently grabbed my attention.  A senior of another sort, Gac Filipaj (52), just earned his B.A. in Classics with honors from the University of Columbia.  Mr. Filipaj has worked his way through college working the night shift as a janitor.  This is a truly inspirational story. It reminds me how much I have to be thankful for, how blessed I am, and the true rewards of a wonderful education. Neither money nor position, but the richness within.  Equally striking is the reason why this student was drawn towards the study of Classics over any other major.  An immigrant from war-torn Yugoslavia, he was impacted the most by the writings of Seneca.  “I love Seneca’s letters because they’re written in the spirit in which I was educated in my family — not to look for fame and fortune, but to have a simple, honest, honorable life.”   It seems Mr. Filipaj does not have any plans for fame or fortune for himself.  He says the riches of his education lie within.  Learning for the sake of learning, enriching the soul.  We could all take a lesson from the class notes of such a graduate.


Read the Article:

Columbia U Janitor Graduates, Will Keep Cleaning

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