WWII Navy veteran is the newest UA freshman

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. - Ninety-one year old Jim Chaffins, a navy veteran, had his college education interrupted when World War II broke out. Now Chaffins has returned to school and is the newest freshman enrolled at the University of Arizona. 

Chaffins lived in Green Valley, Ariz., and is a student in UA's online program. 

"I've always felt that there was something missing," Chaffins said. "I don't have a degree."

He graduated high school a semester early and enrolled at Virginia Tech where the nine credits he took 74 years ago transferred towards his degree at the UA.

"So I called the college, and I told them I needed a transcript," Chaffins said. "And they said, 'Yeah, that’s no problem. We can get that right away for you.' And I said, 'Well, there’s one caveat: We're talking about the spring semester 1943.'"

When Chaffin's retired from the Navy he went on to work in the printing industry, which he later acquired and then sold. Amid a career and a family life, the one thing he says passed him by is computers. 

"He's not afraid to ask for help, which is key to any student's success,” Kami Merrifield, UA student Academic Success Specialist, said of Chaffins. "We went through everything step by step, and it helped me build a mental script to guide other students through the same process."

Chaffins has always loved to learn, and now through the online school he's able to do just that.

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM


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