Lock Haven University’s May 2017 commencement ceremony saw a particularly special student cross the stage to receive his degree. John R. (Jack) Woolridge Jr. received his undergraduate degree almost 50 years after he began taking classes at the University. The Clearfield native has a long history with the institution that predates even his course of study. His grandfather, Harold D. Woolridge sat on the University board and LHU Clearfield’s Woolridge Hall bears his name. Jack Woolridge’s uncle and aunts each graduated from LHU, and so it was a natural choice when he decided to continue his education in the late 1960’s.
Woolridge left the University before completing his degree, though he was only credits shy. “1970 was the last time I took any classes at the University,” says Woolridge. In 1972 he entered the insurance business—a vocation he’s pursued for the past 44 years. The desire to finish his degree never left. Given Woolridge’s strong ties to the Clearfield community and the Lock Haven University campus, it seemed a bit like fate when he met Clearfield Campus Director Dr. Bill Curley. With a little investigation campus assistant director Valerie Dixon discovered just how close Woolridge was to earning his diploma.
“I never thought this would happen,” says Woolridge of earning the degree. “I have many fond memories of my years at the University—it taught me so much about interacting with people. Those are lessons I took with me into my career,” says Woolridge. He adds, “I’ve always felt a connection to LHU Clearfield and I remember clearly visiting the LHU campus with my grandfather. I’m looking forward to hanging this degree on my wall and continuing my relationship with the University as a proud alumnus.”
Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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