Class Of 2019: Tom Durkin, ‘Curve Wrecker,’ College Graduate

by | 05.13.2019 | 12:30pm
Tom Durkin gives a thumbs up during his retirement speech at Saratoga in 2014

It's been over 50 years since Tom Durkin enrolled in St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., just south of Green Bay.

On Sunday, the 68-year-old retired track announcer and communications arts major returned to De Pere, where he was the oldest graduate among the 560 students in the Class of 2019, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.  Durkin may be the oldest in the Catholic liberal arts school's history, the paper reported.

Durkin said it always bothered him that he never graduated from college.

“I felt guilty about it,” he said. “My parents, they went through some sacrifice to put me through school, and I came up two classes short.”

The Chicago native admitted to being a “poor student” when he left school and set off to become a track announcer, starting at county fairs and eventually working his way to the New York Racing Association and television contracts to be the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. He retired in 2014.

The second time around, when Durkin decided to complete the required course work and get the six credits needed to graduate, he was much better. He enrolled at SUNY Adirondack near his home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“The kids in my class hated me because I was the curve wrecker,” he said.

Read more at Green Bay Press Gazette

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