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CCNY Grad: Better 60 Years Late Than Never

May 27, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ Roy Plaut was an all-star athlete and honors student, but when he steps up to receive his diploma from City College of New York on Friday, his fellow graduates will be seeing him for the first time.

Nobody else in the Class of ’86 had been born when Plaut attended his last class, in 1925.

Plaut, 83, was an all-city quarterback who also played on CCNY’s baseball and basketball teams. He was supposed to graduate in 1926, but quit a year early to go to Columbia University Law School. A bachelor’s degree wasn’t required for law school at the time.

He founded the Manhattan law firm of Lipkowitz & Plaut, and a few months ago retired to Chapel Hill, N.C.

After retiring, he said Tuesday, ″I thought, ’Gee whiz, I ought to take a few courses so I could get my degree.‴

He wrote CCNY and asked the dean ″if he could pick out a few easy courses″ for Plaut to take in North Carolina.

″So I pulled his record,″ recalled Associate Dean Philip Baumel, ″and I discovered he had done 105 credits with a GPA of just under 3.8.″

And it turned out Plaut had enough credits to graduate all along. A CCNY rule - which Baumel believes was passed just after Plaut left - grants 32 credits to any student who completes the first year of medical school or law school. With those credits, Plaut has 137, nine more than he needed.

″He honestly, legitimately, without my doing anything improper, earned a degree,″ said Baumel.

Not only that, the dean said, but Plaut’s A minus averages qualifies him for magna cum laude honors and a Phi Beta Kappa key.

Plaut said 15 members of his family - including great grandchildren - will be coming from as far away as Atlanta for Friday’s graduation.

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