Education | National

KCUR: Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker, earns overdue degree





"For the past several years, the numbers of nontraditional college students have been increasing.

But this past Monday, as part of its Veteran’s Day observance, the University of Kansas awarded a degree to one of its least traditional graduates ever: a 91-year-old former Navajo Code Talker.

A sunny conference room at KU’s Lied Center building couldn’t contain the crowd of about 300 who turned out Monday morning to see Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez. After the “Star Spangled Banner,” a former Haskell student started the ceremony with a prayer using both English and the Navajo language.

Kansas first lady Mary Brownback offered a welcome and Lawrence’s mayor offered a key to the city while Chester Nez grinned and nodded from his wheelchair. And when KU Dean Danny Anderson handed Nez an honorary diploma for a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, the crowd, which included many American Indians and veterans, jumped to its feet to applaud. Chester Nez then took the mic and briefly thanked the school and the audience."

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Navajo Code Talker Earns KU Diploma (KCUR 11/19)