Local man balances retirement, graduation from Purdue

A Purdue student took an unusual journey to earn his degrees.

Posted: Dec. 19, 2017 10:21 PM
Updated: Dec. 20, 2017 5:34 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Thousands of students are celebrating this week after graduating from Purdue University. One student took an unusual journey to earn his degrees. He's celebrating graduation and retirement at the same time.

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Doug Gutridge isn't your average college graduate. The 66-year-old graduated this weekend with degrees in psychology and philosophy. He recently resigned as vice president of human resources at Kirby Risk. 

Gutridge is a native of Zanesville, Ohio. He moved around Indiana for a period of time before landing a job with Kirby Risk in Lafayette.
He started his secondary education in 1993. Gutridge graduated this Sunday with high distinction in his class.

The opportunity to learn while working a full-time job allowed Gutridge to utilize certain skills immediately.

"As an adult learner, it's immediately used. It becomes a part of the living at the time, so it was adding the quality of my life at the moment," Gutridge said.

Gutridge didn't shy away from satirical comments from those who are close to him. Even his mother had to ask how he will use his degree moving forward. 

"Questions around, 'Well, you have a degree now. What are you going to do?'" he said.  "And I've told my mother, 'Well, I'm going to look at it.'"

He said he has the next 18 months planned out for traveling the country in his motor coach with his wife. They plan to visit family, friends and every Civil War battlefield they can find.

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