When you picture a ‘typical’ student, chances are you conjure up images of youngsters. The ‘typical’ student is often in his/her late teens or early twenties.
The phrase ‘mature student’ applies to those 21-and-over at the beginning of their course.
But one student stretched that definition by 74 years when he started studying for an arts degree at age 85.
The now 90-year-old Bernard Cutler is currently enrolled at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) where he has studied for the last five years.
Happily married for over 60 years, Cutler felt lost after his wife passed away. When a close friend concerned about his wellbeing told him he needed to begin living his life again, Cutler realized he had a hidden yearning to learn.
And so, aged 85, Cutler braved the halls of SCCC. In the fall of 2012 he tentatively signed up for a few classes and began a new chapter in his life.
We are so proud of all of our students, but Bernard Cutler is one amazing man! At the age of 90, he was recently inducted into @PHITHETAKAPPA @sussexedu and is earning his Liberal Arts degree. https://t.co/NpQW9YTAlQ pic.twitter.com/nw9hgfvNz6
— SUSSEX.EDU (@sussexedu) January 22, 2018
“I was very nervous” at first, Cutler told The Sparta Independent.
He said he asked himself: “What am I doing here among these young kids? These were my first thoughts when I came to register.”
Cutler currently holds a 3.5 GPA in his Associate of Arts degree, making him an A-grade student.
Now, he is being recognized for his dedication to academia over the last five years.
He was recently invited to become a member of an international honor society for two-year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK).
“I was incredibly excited and honored to be inducted into PTK. It was a proud moment to stand there among those outstanding students,” he said.
“They’re a great group of kids and I’m grateful to join the students.”
It’s enough to keep a youngster occupied full-time but Cutler doesn’t just relax in his time off.
When he isn’t studying, Cutler is learning to play the piano. He spreads his love for music by performing in his local church and at various nursing homes in the area during his time off college.
It just goes to show, you are never too old to learn a new skill or further your education.
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