He has won three Oscars and numerous other awards, but filmmaker Steven Spielberg fulfilled a longtime dream Friday when he graduated from college. The creator of the classic films "Jurassic Park," "Jaws," and "E.T. The Extraterrestrial", was awarded a bachelor's degree in film and video production.
Earlier this week, Steven Spielberg received his 5th honorary doctorate, this one from Yale. But the college dropout said his bachelor's degree is the one he really wanted, as a "thank-you" to his parents. He said he also wanted to stress the importance of education to his children. Thirty-four years after leaving California State University, Long Beach, the director returned to receive his diploma.
Spielberg was one of 500 graduates from the university's college of arts.
Another graduate briefly met the director, and joked that he is hoping to star in a Spielberg movie. "That was big! He'll be calling me soon," said the student.
University officials say Steven Spielberg fulfilled all of his course requirements, including a paper for a natural science class that he needed to graduate. For a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and television production, he also needed to finish a 12-minute, polished film. He submitted his Oscar-winning "Schindler's List," which he produced and directed. His professor said it more than met the requirement.
The Hollywood director returned to his studies last year. He did not attend classes, but completed his course requirements through independent study. Spielberg dropped out of school in 1968, just short of completing his degree. The following year, his 22-minute film called "Amblin" led to a contract with a Hollywood studio.
His film credits include the blockbusters "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and the critically acclaimed war movie "Saving Private Ryan."