Los Angeles, CA -- Marching with more than 3,700 bachelor's degree recipients, Hong Y. Fu, who is now 90 years old, will be the oldest graduate participating in Cal State L.A.'s Undergraduate Commencement exercises this Saturday, June 12, 2004, 8 a.m., at the University Athletic Stadium.
Mr. Fu was born in Shanghai, China, in 1913. Because of war, he did not have an opportunity to go to school. Later, he moved to Taiwan with his family. He invested most of his career in the textile and fashion industry. After a lifetime of work, he retired and moved to the United States with his wife and children. Even though he was in his seventies, he immediately enrolled in college to fulfill his childhood dream.
He first attended Los Angeles Trade-Tech College and East Los Angeles College before matriculating at Cal State L.A. in 1988. For over two decades, Mr. Fu rode the bus to school and never missed one class.
Dr. Kylie Hsu, associate chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Cal State L.A. and Mr. Fu's instructor for two Chinese classes, describes him as an eager student, always the first student to arrive in the classroom.
Although he is 90 years old, Mr. Fu is very active in many academic and extracurricular activities. During the 1994-95 academic year, when he was already in his eighties, he braved the freezing temperatures in Alaska as a participant in the CSU exchange program with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Last year, he competed in, and placed third, in a regional university-level Chinese poetry contest held at Cal State L.A.
In his major, his academic performance has rivaled the best students in one exam, he was the only student to answer all the questions correctly, notes Professor Hsu.
On March 20, 2004, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese from Cal State L.A.
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