OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Public Schools celebrated a very special graduation that was nearly 80 years in the making.
Patty Kelly Stevens is an American who was living in the Philippines during World War II. She was a prisoner of war for three years after being captured in 1942, which is the same year she was supposed to graduate high school.
Stevens’ grandson, Jason Black, is currently filming a documentary about her life. He decided to reach out to the Oklahoma City Public School District with the idea of a different graduation ceremony.
“We hear about the ‘Greatest Generation’ and there are fewer and fewer of them,” Jason Black said. “We need to help make these stories live on and pass them down.”
On June 24, Stevens was honored with a graduation ceremony and an honorary diploma from OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel.
“We have been anticipating this day with big circles on the calendar,” said Dr. McDaniel. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone with Patty Kelly Stevens.”
Stevens’ friends and family were on hand to see her graduate at the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services.
“Thank you all for coming to celebrate this special day that I thought would never happen- 80 years later,” said Ms. Stevens. “I am lucky to be here because I’ve had many chances to not be. I am very flattered and appreciate this very much.”