After 15 years, 81-year-old graduates with PhD

John Voelpel is 81 years old, and he’s graduating from the University of South Florida with his PhD.

Voelpel is a true life-long learner. In 1959, he graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in chemical engineering. He worked for 10 years in the corporate world before deciding in 1970 he wanted to be an environmental lawyer. So, he went back to school and got his law degree. 

In 2003, at age 65, Voelpel decided he wanted to get his PhD in philosophy. Between school and work, it took him 15 years, but he’s finally finished. Now you can call him Dr. John Voelpel.

“We never complete our education,” he told FOX 13 Tampa. “If we think we completed our education, we are kidding ourselves.”

What’s next for Voelpel? He’s going to keep practicing law, and plans to take another class this summer--a reminder that age doesn’t mean we need to stop learning or stop reaching for our dreams.