60-year-old student returns to Southern

POSTED: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 3:37pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 6:33pm

Good grades are a big deal for one Baton Rouge grandfather, and that's because he has to make them.

Sidney Brown was the big man on Southern University's campus back in 1966, but he never got the chance to finish school. It wasn't until he had already retired from his job at the Office of Mental Health that he thought about going back.

"Golf was sort of boring and so was fishing," says Brown. "I wanted to do something worthwhile with my life for the rest of my life."

So, the studious 60-year-old decided to major in architecture. For Brown, the classes represent a lifelong passion and the chance to make a change.

"I see a lot of low income housing being constructed in Baton Rouge and I'm not happy with what I see," Brown says. "It looks shabby. There's no architectural style to it so to speak of and most of it isn't energy efficient. I just felt like I wanted to do something about it."

It will be a long road for Brown. The architecture program takes about five years to complete.

"I got five more years to draw social security, so that's cool," Brown laughs.

He'll spend the next five years with his younger classmates and then he hopes to go back to work, but this time, he'll be his own boss.

"I'm not sure where this will take me, but this will be my starting point."

And Brown has bigger hopes for his choice to go back to school. "I just hope this inspires someone else, especially my children and my grandchildren," he says. He wants to prove that its never too late to do what you love.

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I have been thinking about going back to school to get a second degree at Southern. I am very interested in the field of Social Services, so at 58 I feel that I can also pursue a new line of work. Most of our teens and young college students are not taking advantage of the educational opportunities being offered. Many retirees are going back into the workforce because our younger generation is not prepared to get the job done. I think we will see a new trend in the over 50+ going back school.

That is my Dad! He has always inspired us to do what makes us happy. Love your baby girl, Gabrielle

That's great Mr. Brown!

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