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EAC student receives degree after 46 years

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EAC student receives degree after 46 years

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—EAC’s Commencement Ceremony was the stage last week for William A. Trulove, 74, of Casa Grande, to cross a 46 year-old item off his “Bucket List.” He was awarded an associate degree.

Trulove was a student at Eastern Arizona Junior College (EAJC) from 1961 to 1964 and planned to complete an Associate of Agriculture Science Degree. But after ordering his graduation announcements, cap, and gown, he found out that he would not graduate because he lacked English 102. Williams’ responsibilities to his family (he was a married father of two) required him to seek employment and abandon his hopes of graduating from EAJC.

Trulove has lived a full life with his wife, Clara, and their six children that has included experience as a Police Officer and Deputy Sherriff for Stanfield, Coolidge, Benson, and Willcox, Arizona. He is also certified as a private pilot, commercial pilot, and is certified to be a pilot instructor in instrument rating and multi-engine rating. He was Director of Operations at Casa Grande Municipal Airport for ten years and was the owner of Sunbird Aviation, Inc. But the fact that he never got his associate degree from Eastern has bothered him all these years.

In February 2009, Trulove suffered a stroke and it was during his successful recovery process that he began to think about all of his unfinished tasks. One of his dreams was to complete his Associate Degree at EAJC now Eastern Arizona College. With the help of EAC ASPIRE director Jose Sosa and EAC counselor Kenny Smith, he was able to earn his degree.

“My wife has a Master’s degree and I have always felt this was unfinished business for me and I wanted to complete it,” Trulove said with a smile.

Sosa added, “This will also give his children, grandchildren, and the rest of his family an incentive to go back and get an education.”