Custodian Earns Engineering Degree From School He's Worked At For 8 Years

"Graduation was a crowning achievement."

Here's a story that'll leave you awash with emotion. 

Michael Vaudreuil has spent eight years as a custodian at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, NBC News reported. This past weekend, the 54-year-old received a degree in mechanical engineering from the school he's cleaned for years.

"Graduation was a crowning achievement," Vaudreuil told CNN. "One of the best days of my life."

The father of three, who graduated with an impressive 3.65 GPA, walked the stage with his wife and children in attendance. He even received a shout-out from WPI President Laurie Leshin during the commencement speech, as he was praised for his devotion and perseverance. When he received his diploma, the crowd went wild. 

"I had no idea I would receive the applause that I did," he told NBC News. "It really, really touched me."

While Vaudreuil's ecstatic about his achievement, he's been through quite a journey to reach this point. According to CBS Boston, Vaudreuil took up the custodian job when life took a rough turn and he lost his plastering business.

“We lost our home, bankruptcy, and our personal vehicle … decimation was completed," he explained to the outlet. "I was just a shell of a person at that time.”

The recent grad was introduced to the school's academics after taking a tuition-free class offered to employees, CBS Boston reported. Later on, he decided to pursue mechanical engineering, working nights and taking classes during the day. 

Though he is older than the traditional college student, he told CNN he never felt uncomfortable. In fact, his peers were supportive and didn't treat him any differently. 

“They challenged me,’’ he told the Boston Globe. 

Graduating was no easy feat and the 54-year-old credits his wife with helping him power through school. 

"There's no way in the world I could have done that on my own," he told NBC News. "Even on the weekend, when I was physically home, my wife and I didn't spend much time together. She sacrificed."

Though the 54-year-old has returned to his custodial work after graduation, he hopes he can find a new work using the fresh degree under his belt. 



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