A toast to Fresno State's 'most senior' senior

Dale Yurong Image
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Retire? This 70-year-old graduated from Fresno State instead
Just like a fine wine, Tom Shudic just got better with time. 70 was a very good year, to graduate from college.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno State graduate wanted something more out of retirement.

Just like a fine wine, Tom Shudic just got better with time. 70 was a very good year -- to graduate from college.

Shudic explained, "I wanted to finally get my degree. I never finished college. I should have, but I went to work for Hughes Aircraft company."

41 years later Shudic retired from Hughes as an engineering technician. He said, "I relaxed for a year, and then Elaine kicked me out."

Tom's girlfriend, Elaine Moore told him he needed to resume his educational journey. So for the past 2 1/2 years, Shudic drove from Burbank on Mondays and lived with three roommates until driving back on Thursdays.

Tom assured me he skipped the frat parties. "No, I didn't have time for that. I was trying to get good grades."

Fresno State winemaker Tom Montgomery thought Shudic was a professor when he met him. Montgomery recalled, "I did actually. I was very surprised to find out he was a student."

Shudic admitted, "A lot of people have made that mistake."

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But now Tom Shudic is set to walk, do the wine walk if you will, with a degree in Viticulture and Enology.

Enology professor Miguel Pedroza said, "One thing that always amazed me about him was his energy. He's pretty much like a kid."

So we raise a glass and toast the Class of 2018's "most senior" senior.