Greek Man from Crete Becomes College Freshman at 84

Dimitris Moudatsakis, at the age of 84, finally fulfilled his lifelong dream by enrolling in university to study History, as life did not allow for him to get a higher education earlier.

Every year around the end of August, thousands of Greek high school graduates anxiously await for the results of their university entry exams, to see whether or not their name is on the list of those who passed.

For Greek students, a university degree means eventually being able to start a career.

Moudatsakis’ life followed a reverse course, though. He entered the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Crete in Rethymnon after his long career of binding books, was over.

Moudatsakis moved to Heraklion from his village at the age of 10, so that he could learn the skill of binding books, from his uncle. When he finished grade school he started working there, up until it was time for him to serve in the army.

After completing his army obligations, he started his own bookbinding business, even though his wish was always to study at the university.  However, although he loved reading, there was no time for university — especially after he got married and started a family.

After many years in the bookbinding business, and finally a pensioner however, Moudatsakis realized that it was time for him to fulfill his dream of going to university. He first went to night school to get his high school diploma and then finally made it through to university this year.

He took the entry exams in June and on Monday he found out that in September he will be a freshman in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Crete, in Rethymnon.