CSU janitor makes dream come true by graduating with 2017 class

COLUMBUS, Ga — A Columbus State University janitor spent nine years doing his job during the day, while making his dream come true at night.

Fifty-eight-year-old Gary Freeman recently graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in Management Information Systems.

“The one thing about getting to work here I was glad of the fact that I’m going to be able to get me some school,” Gary said.

After nine years of taking a few classes at a time, Gary finally reached his goal. But walking across the stage was the second best part of graduation day because his first daughter and adopted daughters got to meet for the first time.

“We spent almost until midnight together and that meant a lot to all of us because none of us wanted to go. We were just enjoying the presence of each other so much,” Gary said.

Gary has been in Columbus almost his whole life, but graduating has given him a new mindset.

“If the offer is right, I could relocate anywhere,” Gary said. “My long term goal is to get some experience in my field and then go for masters.”

In fact, Gary has already received calls about a job from companies in San Francisco and Atlanta. Gary also said he would be interested in taking a part-time job in his field and work another year and a half as a janitor at Columbus State because he’d be eligible to retire.

Gary’s not sure what’s next for him, but he wants people to know one thing if they’re thinking about starting or going back to college.

“Give it your all,” Gary said. “Don’t give up because you will make it. You hang in there, you will make it.”

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