Life long student honored at Villanova

May 17, 2008 5:38:27 PM PDT
One local man's love of learning is inspiring young and old on one college campus. 89-year-old Marvin Weiss lives a good life. The West Philadelphia High School alum and College of Textiles class of '39 grad, began his career in textile management, then owned fashion businesses, real estate, even a Center City pharmacy with his now deceased brother.

The loss of his brother to cancer is a painfully powerful memory 20 years later. The loss inspired the great grandfather to re-evaluate his own life.

"I was 70 and I decide I wasn't going to be a couch potato. So I played golf Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And I went to Villanova Tuesday and Thursday," said Weiss.

Marvin Weiss took courses he never had at Textile a half century earlier... exercising his brain with political science, history, music - more than 50 classes over 2 decades.

"I took all the art courses. I took all the economic and finance courses."

Marvin took tuition free, non credit classes in Villanova's life long learning program for senior citizens. He didn't write papers or take tests, but he made the grade with students with his detailed note taking.

Marvin says, "Well the kids used to borrow my notes when there was an exam coming up. And they used to pass them around."

Spending 20 years in classes with folks who were 50 and now 70 years his junior has proven valuable for Marvin too. "I think that's one of the things that kept me as young as I feel. 'Cause I used to go across the campus with them. And I had to walk fast to keep up with them."

Marvin is packing his notebooks away. Sunday, Villanova will award him a political science certificate.

A widower since last year, Marvin will now spend more time socializing, working out and enjoying The Wall Street Journal at his new home... Brightview Assisted Living Facility to enjoy family, life and the lessons he's learned along the way.