81-year-old USF grad: Always learning

John Voelpel has a passion for knowledge. 

"I just got questions yet, and this is a great place to get questions answered." The 81-year-old said.

John's quest for learning started in 1959 when he graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

"I went to work for Procter & Gamble in St. Louis," he recalled.

John worked in the corporate world for 10 years and went back to school in 1970 to become an environmental lawyer, a profession he worked in for than more 40 years.

"Environmental law has become extremely important over the last 50 years,” he offered.

John didn't stop there. At 65, he went back to school at USF.

"I entered the Ph.D program in 2003,” he continued.  “So it’s taken me 15 years."

Fifteen years to earned his Ph.D. in philosophy.

"I feel like I am the most fortunate 81-year-old walking on the face of this earth.”

John says he feels pride and humility in accepting his doctoral degree. He is still practicing law today and plans to take another class this summer.

"We never complete our education," he added. "If we think we completed our education, we are kidding ourselves.”