While spending his days watching Brooklyn College students earn their degrees, Campus Safety Officer Hubert Evans spent his off-hours chasing his own.
And now, after only 2 years and 9 months, Evans received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Medgar Evers College this May. At age 87, Evans was the oldest person to earn a degree from any City University of New York college in 2016.
Evans, who has worked for CUNY for 25 years, earned his BA this year while working a full time schedule at Brooklyn College. “I did some of the courses in the morning and went to work.” he said, in a profile by Medgar Evers College News.
Born in Jamaica, Evers has been working at Brooklyn College since 1993. In that time he raised seven children, including a son who graduated from Brooklyn College. Evers’ family has since grown, and now includes 11 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He and his wife live in Brooklyn, within walking distance of the Brooklyn College Campus.
Ursula Chase, deputy director of the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services, was moved by Evans’ determination, reported the Brooklyn College News:
“He’s been an inspiration to all of us,” said Chase. “We constantly encouraged him and supported him throughout as he completed his coursework. This is a man who walked to the college, from his home—quite a bit away—after a huge snowstorm, stopping once to call and say he’d be a little late; he doesn’t let anything get in the way of where he wants to go.”
Evans has some advice for current Brooklyn College students: “It’s a lot of hard work,” he told reporters. But being on time for class and doing his homework made all the difference.
Evers focused on political science and history, and intends to pursue a career in counseling to help more people earn their college degrees.
When asked about his coursework, Evans said that his professors didn’t go easier on him because he was 87 years old. And on what it was like to sit in a classroom full of youngsters, it sounds like the wisdom of age was on his side: “They [the younger students] were struggling to express themselves. I didn’t have a problem,” he said.