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A 69-Year-Old UVa Student Proves It's Never Too Late For College


"You can find a way to go to the University of Virginia, start looking, and I did." Those were the words said by 69-year-old Jerry Reid as he thought about going to get his college education.

He is hoping to start a new chapter in his life as a student at the University of Virginia.

Reid began taking classes at a community college in 2009. He then transferred to Uva. and began taking classes in the Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies program (BIS).

"Putting my foot on grounds as a student at the University of Virginia, it's way beyond what I expected," says Reid.

Back in the day Reid was a race car driver, owned his own production company and even worked in sales, but he says finally going to college is the most excitement he's had in a long time.

"It was thrilling, better than winning a race in an automobile," says Reid. "Better than anything I've ever done except watch my wife walk down the isle when we were married in 1969."

Reid and his wife never had children, but he considers himself to be a father figure to students all over the university.

"I feel like a grandfather and a father sometimes, but my fellow students say, Mr. Reid, you're just one of us, so straighten up and fly right."

"I'm accepted as a 20 year-old with forty-eight years of really useful experience," says Reid as he laughs while sitting and wearing a UVa. cardigan.

Reid wanted to get the full student life experience, so he attends sports events, takes classes on campus versus online and even joined the fraternity Chi Phi.

"All these young folks feed me energy every day and I use all of it and it's keeping me young" says Reid.

His energetic spirit reaches students all over grounds, but he is also making an impact on his professors.

"He's not very traditional even for the non-traditionals, because he's so much older," says Stephen Levine, faculty in the BIS program. "He's very energetic, enthusiastic, he's inquisitive and just very interested, so I just see him as just another student."

"I think he's embracing the program and the class, and I think he fits right in," says Levine.

"My hope is to be involved in student life activities and get into a position where I can work with all of the young people on grounds on issues," says Reid.

Reid graduates in May of next year, but he hopes to continues on to receive his masters from here at the Curry School of Education.

Reid is a 3rd year Humanities major and wants others to know that they too can follow their dreams.

"If you got off the path, the path waits for you. It stands still and waits for you, all you got to do is find your way back to it."


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