— It’s an old cliché, but it’s never too late to go back to school. These words ring true in the case of a current student at Sussex County Community College (SCCC). Bernard Cutler, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, has been attending SCCC for the past five years.

His desire to return to school at the age of 85 was not evident until the devastating loss of his wife. Having been married for the past 60 years, Bernard found himself lost without her. A close friend noticed the change in his demeanor and told Bernard that he needed to start living his life again.

These words were the catalyst Bernard needed to pursue a new direction in his life. Knowing that Sussex County Community College was close by, he signed up for a few classes in the fall of 2012.

“I was very nervous, what am I doing here among these young kids?” Bernard commented. “These were my first thoughts when I came to register.”

After five years of dedication to his academic career, Bernard was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. He currently holds a 3.5 GPA as he pursues his associate of arts degree.

“I was incredibly excited and honored to be inducted into PTK. It was a proud moment to stand there among those outstanding students,” Bernard stated. “They’re a great group of kids and I’m grateful to join the students.”

Along with focusing on his classes at SCCC, Bernard still finds time to learn to play piano. He shares his musical talent in his church and at local nursing homes in the area during the holidays.

Photo 1: After his theater class, Bernard Cutler discusses his opportunities at SCCC.