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Navy veteran gets his high school diploma 50 years later

Cornell Galloway needed a P.E. credit to graduate. He served in the Navy for 28 years. Texas officials say that was good enough to fulfill that credit.

AUSTIN, Texas — Fifty years after he was set to graduate from Del Valle High School, on Tuesday night, U.S. Navy veteran Cornell Galloway finally got his diploma.

When Galloway left school to serve in the Navy, he needed a P.E. credit to graduate. He served for 28 years. Del Valle officials say that was good enough to fulfill that credit.

“He's invested his life in serving the country,” said Executive Director for Academics and Accountability at DVISD Dr. Ana Rush. “The least I could do today was stop what I was doing and see how we can get him to get his diploma.”

Superintendent Dr. Annette Tielle certified completion of the diploma during the district's board meeting with Board President Rebecca Birch.

"Throughout his years of service to our nation as a Navy Seal, we know Mr. Galloway more than completed the requirements for his P.E. credit," said Superintendent Tielle. "We are extremely proud of our newest graduate and all he accomplished during his distinguished career."

Tuesday's event included a performance from the Popham Elementary choir. Galloway shared an emotional message as he joined the meeting via Zoom.

"I'm lost for words; this is a long time coming," Mr. Galloway said. "There's something about not finishing what you started, and to get my diploma, I didn't know how to do it. I really want to recognize Dr. Rush and Ms. Connie Philips, who dug and made this happen."

Congratulations to Mr. Galloway!

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