MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s been more than 60 years since Kenneth de Ferrari attended college, and now he’ll finally receive his diploma with the class of 2014.

The 89-year-old Mahwah resident fought in World War II on aircraft carriers and had a successful career as a global manager of a research and development company, but he never received his college diploma from Stevens Institute of Technology.

De Ferrari attended evening classes at the Hoboken school in the 1950s, but had to drop out after his company transferred him out of state.

De Ferrari was just a few credits shy of graduating, but he never had the opportunity to return to school.

“I had a family at that time, my wife and my son was born, and I needed a job to keep the home fires burning,” he said.

He’s looking forward to receiving an honorary Bachelor’s Degree in engineering next week.

“It’ll look good on my obituary,” de Ferrari said.

The school said the knowledge de Ferrari gained during his three years at Stevens enabled him to become a pioneer in the field of metallurgy.

“Stevens is proud to honor Mr. deFerrari, someone who exemplifies what defines Stevens graduates,” stated school president Nariman Farvardin.

The graduation ceremony will be held Wednesday at the IZOD Center.

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