At age 51, physics major Robert Johannemann achieved his goal and walked across the stage to receive his degree in Jones Gym on April 30. “I was a Brown Scholar and attended from 1982 – 85,” he explains. “I got married and had family responsibilities, so I dropped out back then.”
What prompted you to return to college?
I’m a technical planner at Precision Roll Grinders in Lewisport. I got a promotion with the understanding that I must complete my education and earn my degree. So I investigated colleges in the area and enrolled in Wesleyan again. I began in the fall of 2015.
Why did you choose Wesleyan this time?
I can’t say enough about the registrar, Lou Ann Bowersox. She took care of me. If I had questions, she got answers. She moved the process along, and I’m very grateful. She and Academic Dean Paula Dehn worked together to figure out what I needed. They mapped out a plan that included online classes. Both of them were very helpful.
Describe the experience of returning to college after so many years.
It felt great to return and learn new things. I really liked the online classes. They were convenient, particularly since I work full-time. I also loved being in the classroom again. The experience was invigorating.
The student to faculty ratio is very appealing (11:1). Everyone on campus pulls for you. Everyone is interested in you and your success. By everyone, I mean not only the faculty, but the staff.
Tell us what it was like to walk across the stage after all these years.
I felt a sense of relief. But I also realized that I will miss going to class. I’m thinking about taking more classes, and I may work on another degree; this one in math, which was my minor.
What advice would you offer to people like you who have some college credit or who never attended college?
Don’t put it off. Check out Wesleyan, whether you attended here before or not. You’ll get a lot of support when you get here. It is an amazing place.
Congratulations, Bob! We are so happy for you, and we will support you again when you come back for that math degree! We think you are amazing.
Bob’s son, Andrew, graduated from Wesleyan in 2010. He is now doing his residency in internal medicine at the University of Kentucky.