Clovis Hung started college at 9 years old and “didn’t expect” to beat the school record
You might say Clovis Hung has a bit of a head start on life!
The 12-year-old is now a graduate of Fullerton College in California, becoming the youngest person to ever celebrate commencement at the school this week — and doing so with five degrees!
As local news station KABC reports, he was awarded five associate of arts degrees: history; social sciences; social behavior and self-development; arts and human expression; and science and mathematics — with plans to pursue a degree next year, too.
“I also wanted to be the youngest graduate,” Hung said of his hopes to follow in the footsteps of previous school record holder, 13-year-old grad Jack Rico. “I didn’t expect to beat him.”
Hung put on his cap and gown last Saturday, years after he enrolled via the school’s Special Admit program and began college at just 9 years old. He also completed a homeschooling curriculum while in college.
“Clovis is super inquisitive, mature, diligent, self-disciplined, and highly motivated,” his mother Song Choi said in a release. “He is also very curious and traditional public schools could not satisfy his curiosity, therefore, the best option was college.”
Hung told several outlets that his mother found out about his curiosity at a young age, and began to homeschool him as a result. His college career only began with one class, but after he liked it, he enrolled in more.
Choi explained to KABC that she isn’t a “tiger mom” — someone who pushes their children to high levels of achievement — but rather she reminds Hung to “relax” and “take it easy” every now and then since he’s so driven.
Biology Professor Kenneth Collins revealed that, at first, he was “a little worried about how [Hung] would relate to the other students given the age and developmental differences,” but the concerns were “unfounded.”
“Clovis has been a great mixture of ‘kid’ and college student,” Collins said in the release. “He is mature enough that the other students take him seriously, but enough of a kid that they look after him like a younger brother and cheer him on,”
It wasn’t an easy ride for Hung, who revealed that he would be nervous entering new classrooms each semester due to the age differences between him and his peers.
“The first question the professors and classmates usually ask is how old I am,” he said in the release. “They are surprised at what I am doing here and always curious about the points of my quizzes and exams.”
“However, after a while, I have shown a serious attitude toward my study; they all believe in my ability and determination to get good grades.”
But now, while he’s “really proud of what I’ve accomplished so far,” Hung is aiming to get his pilot license at age 16 after joining Civic Air Patrol. And after that, his next dream is to go to Mars, or a “further planet,” he said, per KCAL.
“In the future, I would like to either discover something new or meet famous people like Elon Musk,” he said. “I”m a very smart kid, and he’s a very smart person, so smart people should talk to smart people.”