May 3, 2006

82-Year-Old To Get College Degree

Source: WBBM
Writtern by Bernie Tafoya

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) — May 21st will be a big day in the life of 82-year-old Bess Friedheim of the south suburbs. She receives her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from St. Xavier University that day.

Friedheim says she’s always wanted to go to college and so in her 60s, she enrolled.

Friedheim says that, when she’s at school she doesn’t feel her age. She says she feels just a couple of years older than the 20-somethings who are her fellow students. She says, “I love school. When I come in here, I sit down and forget I’m this old person.”

The New York City native likes math, art and computers and says she’s fallen in love with photography.

Her favorite professor is Monte Gerlach, who teaches art. Friedheim has taken every course Gerlach has taught, including Digital Imaging which she’s taking this semester for a second time. She got an “A” the first time and is auditing the class this time because that last time she took it, “they only taught you Photoshop 4, but Photoshop 9 is available now. There’s so much new stuff to learn”.

And that’s the thing about Bess Friedheim. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. She says she does not plan to work towards a master’s degree but does intend to take more classes because, “there’s so much to learn…you never could finish learning….there’s just so much stuff”.

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