73-year-old Marvin Hook graduated from Mesa Community College after the spring semester, completing a journey he started over 50 years ago.
Hook first enrolled at MCC in the ‘70s, right after his service as a Marine. Hook was originally a pre-law student, but switched to a business based curriculum.
“And then life happened. I got married, and we had a child. My wife was going to ASU, so I dropped out,” Hook recalled.
Fast forward to nearly four years ago, and Hook would be a successful real estate agent, owning his own home and overall having lived a successful life.
At the time, Hook and his wife had just been coming back from vacation, in which he was fascinated by the geology of the places they had visited.
“We had gone through the Grand Teton, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. And I was fascinated by the geology, and I wanted to know about it,” said Hook.
With his interest piqued, Hook’s wife suggested that he should return to MCC and take a geology course.
After meeting with a professor, and going through the course, Hook was enamored with all of the information the class had to offer.
Hook said, “So I decided, ‘Well, why don’t I take another class?’ And then the next one, and then the next one. One thing led to another, and I thought. ‘How close am I to completing the AA requirements?’”
Hook met with a counselor, and they laid out exactly what he needed to do in order to get a degree.
Ever since, Hook has been checking off the boxes one course at a time.
Hook graduated on May 13, can celebrated his birthday just a day later on May 14.
When asked why Hook chose MCC specifically, he noted that the helpfulness and familiarity of MCC was important to him.
In fact, the helpfulness and familiarity of MCC is so important to him that he makes a one hour commute from his home every Tuesday and Thursday for class.
“Everybody that I have worked here with is helpful, from professors to counselors. The information online is readily available, it’s made going to class so much easier and enjoyable. You get so much more input in it,” said Hook.
Hook naturally took one class per semester as he had to add the work on top of maintaining responsibilities at home and as a realtor.
Hook wanted to make sure that every single class was getting his full attention, without letting outside distractions take away from his studies.
“One time I took two classes. That was a full load with everything going on actually, so I decided I wasn’t going to do that again,” explained Hook.
It’s a rare thing to see a person of Hook’s age complete their schooling, and he believes part of why he’s been able to do it is because school is fun now.
“When I was going to school before, it was because I had to. It was more like a job, a grind so to speak. And now I’m doing it because I want to. And it’s very, very enjoyable,” said Hook.
Although not every student may feel that school is fun, taking a page from Hook’s perspective on school may be beneficial for all students.
And what may help aid in learning how to adopt that perspective is following another piece of advice from Hook.
“Students should do what is interesting and fun. Make your occupation your passion. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you’re not going to be any good at it. It’s imperative that you enjoy what you are doing. So find something you enjoy, and do that,” said Hook.