MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An Oxford, Mississippi elementary school custodian is set to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

Even though Keunte Hill’s job is to clean the building inside Lafayette Upper Elementary School in Oxford, he is still a man on a mission.

“A lot of people like to use their past as an excuse but use it as motivation to move forward in life,” Hill said. He has always been a motivation for other people, but recently he took that inspiration to a whole new level.

“It took me the better part of nine years to be exact because I started at Northwest Community College in 2014 and graduated in 2016 from Northwest and from 16 until now I was at Ole Miss taking classes and I failed a lot of classes,” Hill said.

Now, Hill recently walked down the halls of the school to the cheers and handshakes of students while he put on his cap and gown.

“I remember my coworker telling me and one of the girls was asking, “Mr. Hill is graduating. Isn’t he too old to be in school” that kind of made my day,” Hill said.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in General Studies with an emphasis in Business Marketing. He says he did it for his family and his son.

“He’s going to get to understand that his dad came from poverty,” Hill said. “His dad came from nothing and he made something out of his life.”

The University of Mississippi students like Sara Kate Rushing say they admire Hill.

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“It’s inspiring for the kids,” Rushing said. “They can grow up and do something with their lives and do something amazing and just seeing someone doing it inspires you to reach for your goals.

“I want the kids to know it’s never too late to turn your life around and it’s never too late to change,” Hill said. “Try to get it right the first time, but if you do mess up look at me and understand you can do it, just put your mind to it.”

The University of Mississippi 2023 Commencement exercises got underway yesterday and go through Sunday.

Morning Convocation will be held on Saturday, May 13th at 8:00 a.m. in the Grove.