University Custodian Graduates with Honors from Columbia

Posted May 13th, 2012 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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After years of mopping floors, cleaning toilets and taking out the trash at New York's prestigious Columbia University, Gac Filipaj finally saw his dream come true.

On Sunday, the 52-year-old immigrant from the former Yugoslavia graduated from Columbia with a degree in classics – with honors.

Filipaj came to the United States in 1992. He first learned English and then enrolled in the university while working there full time. It took him 12 years to complete his coursework.

He plans to continue working as a janitor and wants to enroll in the university's graduate program, with the hopes of finding a better job.

He has received wide media attention for his achievements. He told a newspaper, the New York Daily News, that he is “very happy” of what he has accomplished.