Ken Wilde To Be Oldest-Ever Master’s Graduate At UMSL

ST. LOUIS — Considering what Ken Wilde has lived through, it isn’t surprising he has good grasp of history. At 86, he’s lived enough of it, and through some of the worst of it.

Maybe that helps explain how Wilde was a straight-A student, except for a lone A-minus, as he earned his master’s degree in history at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He’ll be UMSL’s oldest-ever master’s graduate when he gets the diploma Saturday.

A Jew living in Nazi Germany, Wilde was 15 when he was sent to live with a family in England during World War II. His family stayed behind, but survived. They left Germany for St. Louis after the war, and Wilde reunited with them.

He went to work and put off a college education – for six decades.

Three years ago, he earned his bachelor’s degree at age 83, and decided to go ahead and get his master’s.