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Burger, Fries and a Diploma

March 27, 1993|Associated Press

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — Dave Thomas, founder and pitchman for Wendy's restaurants, holds six honorary degrees from universities, but was a high school dropout until now.

Thomas, 60, passed a high school equivalency test and graduated from Coconut Creek High School near his Broward County, Fla., home. He was presented his diploma by Broward County School Supt. Virgil Morgan in a ceremony attended by 500 students.

Thomas went to work full-time at a restaurant at 15 and founded Wendy's in 1969.

He said he was "always bothered" that he had no high school diploma to back up his business success.

He grew interested in earning the equivalency certificate while on a 26-city tour to promote his book, "Dave's Way."

Some high school student journalists asked him "why didn't I practice what I preached" when encouraging students to stay in school, he said.

Thomas plans to keep up his campaign to keep young people in school but will also push adult dropouts to take the GED.

"Even with everything that's happened in my life, getting this diploma is one of my most important accomplishments," he said.

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