Clovis Hung, 12, broke a record—by becoming the youngest graduate from Fullerton College to earn five degrees.
He joined about 900 other graduates in the Class of 2023 commencement ceremony on May 20.
He was 9 years old when he enrolled in the college.
Hung said he was inspired by Jack Rico, a 13-year-old who earned four degrees at Fullerton College in 2020.
Hung earned five Associate of Arts degrees in History, Social Sciences, Social Behavior and Self-Development, Arts and Human Expression, and Science and Mathematics.
His mother, Song Choi, has been homeschooling her son alongside the college courses. She said he is highly self-motivated and goal-oriented.
“Clovis is super inquisitive, mature, diligent, self-disciplined, and highly motivated. He is also very curious and traditional public schools could not satisfy his curiosity, therefore, the best option was college,” Choi said in the statement.
Hung enrolled in the college’s “special admit” program, which commonly allows some high school students to earn college credits for free.
In the fall of 2020, when he enrolled in his first course, World Civilizations to 1550, Hung and his mother said they didn’t know if it was the right decision. But it didn’t take long until he excelled in the class and enjoyed it.
“After that first history class, I found out I could handle it well and instantly fell in love with college life. So, I challenged myself to take more classes,” Hung said.
Attending classes in person with adults made Hung a little nervous at the beginning of each semester, he said.
“The first question the professors and classmates usually ask is how old I am. 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,” he said.
As Hung enrolled in more classes, including honors courses, many of his professors spoke highly of his work ethic, and were reassured he could keep up with his classmates.
“At first, I was a little worried about how he would relate to the other students given the age and developmental differences. [H]owever, those concerns were unfounded. Clovis has been a great mixture of ‘kid’ and college student. 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,” Biology Professor Kenneth Collins said in the statement.
Echoing Collins’s praise, Honors Program Coordinator and Political Science Professor Jodi Balma said Hung was able to thrive within the honors program.
“Clovis has really embraced the opportunities Fullerton College has to offer because his interests are so expansive. He’s interested in so many different subjects, and he’s made meaningful connections with other students and faculty,” Balma said.
Just elected as a senator for Associated Students for the upcoming academic year, Hung said he plans to continue taking STEM classes at Fullerton College until he applies to universities in the fall. He said he’s interested in career paths in various fields including commercial piloting, pediatrics, and aerospace.
Outside of school, Hung is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and studying for his pilot's license, which he said he hopes to earn at age 16. He also enjoys playing basketball with his friends, building Star Wars scenes with Legos, and playing with his dog, Chep Chep, and cat, Cotton.