"He has talked about this almost my whole adult life," Baxter wrote. "I think it is one of his biggest regrets."
It turns out that there's no need for Blom, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, to be given an honorary degree — or to regret not graduating. After some investigation, UC officials discovered that Blom had received more than enough credits to qualify for an associate's degree through UC Blue Ash. Blom and his family toured Fifth Third Arena on Thursday to get the lay of the land.
“I get more excited as time goes by, and I guess the countdown starts right now,” says Blom. “It’s very exciting. [UC staff] have been very thorough in the arrangements. I’m very happy that we did this today because it eases my mind to do it before the crowd gets here.”
Blom, a Cincinnati native, joined the Navy when he was 17 in 1943. After completing officer’s academy, he was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Hornet aircraft carrier until about a year after the war concluded. After returning home, Blom wanted to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at UC on the G.I. Bill, but when he first applied the program was at capacity.