Age Is Just a Number for Youngest and Oldest Grads in MCCC’s Class of 2022


West Windsor, N.J. – George Klimov, of Newtown, Pa., is just 17 years old. On May 20, he graduated from Mercer County Community College (MCCC) with highest honors, earning his A.S. degree in Physics. Norman Glover, of East Windsor, is 72 years old and earned his second MCCC degree last month – this one in Culinary Arts. Their age range reflects the diverse community of learners at Mercer, where the average age of this year’s graduates was 26.

Klimov enrolled in MCCC’s Dual Enrollment program in 2020. Having been home schooled after ninth grade, he had exhausted his high school math and physics curriculum and was seeking the next level in his education. After starting at Mercer, he earned his GED in short order so that he would also be able to earn his associate degree.

According to Klimov, being younger than his classmates did not create any obstacles. “My classmates accepted me. They welcomed my help with their coursework. I developed a better world view at Mercer. It’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much,” he said.

A resident of Newtown, Pa., Klimov chose to cross the river to New Jersey to attend MCCC because of family history. “My mother and grandmother attended Mercer. I had some of the same professors they did,” he noted. Numerous faculty members stand out for Klimov: Tatiana Morozov (Physics), Carlo Alfare (Chemistry), and Kyle Anderson (Mathematics), with whom he took two courses.

In his last semester, Klimov took a required Public Speaking course he had been putting off. “Professor [Alvyn] Haywood really helped me develop in that area. He was hard on me so that I would learn what I need for my future,” he said.

Klimov will transfer to Penn State University to continue for his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics. He plans to keep on going until he earns his Ph.D.

Inspired by the life-changing impact of his MCCC professors, Klimov hopes to one day be a professor himself and also conduct research. Even further down the line, he would like to establish a nonprofit tutoring agency for students who can’t afford these services.

Klimov has recommended community college to his high school peers. “It’s a way to make your educational experience more interesting and varied,” he said. “The community college schedule is flexible and inexpensive.”

Norman Glover was the oldest student to graduates from Mercer last month, earning two A.A.S. degreeswith honors: one in Culinary Arts and a one in Pastry Arts. Glover’s long history at the college dates back to 2003, when he took his first course; in 2021, he earned an A.S. in Business Management and was student speaker at Commencement in 2012. He has 120 MCCC credits under his belt.

Glover has worn a variety of hats through the course of his life. He joined the Army at age 17 during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded. He has been an over-the-road truck driver, director of safety for a trucking company, director of safety of a commercial bakery, a certified instructor for the New Jersey Police Training Commission, and a veterans healthcare navigator for the New Jersey Hospital Association, a job he retired from in 2021.

Admitting that the idea of slowing down bothers him, Glover became the owner of the Root Cellar Tavern in Dorothy, New Jersey, last year. In this new chapter, he can finally combine his business management skills with his culinary skills. Glover fondly describes the place as a cozy neighborhood establishment. Online reviews are glowing, with patrons appreciating everything from the food and service to its welcoming owner (Glover), who shakes hands with veterans and thanks them for their service.

Glover says he discovered his love for cooking in high school. “I was working for a baking company while attending vocational school. That’s where I took my very first baking class.”

Even as he spent years on the road in trucking, his interest in the culinary field never completely faded. “It was something I would do at home with my kids,” he said. Later in his career, he oversaw a baking company in his role as the safety manager for a regional trucking company.

Glover observes that there’s no fast way to reach the top. “There’s no elevator. You have to take the stairs,” he said, encouraging students of any age to just keep plugging away.

Recently, one of Glover’s employees who just graduated from high school, was wondering whether he should go to college. Glover advised taking courses that meet general education requirements for any degree or those that are practical or simply interesting. “Find a class and just keep adding to it,” he counseled.

Glover himself is considering taking more classes in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree – perhaps at Rowan University or Thomas Edison State University. One thing he knows for sure: There’s always something new to learn.


Commencement 2022

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Physics grad George Klimov earns his A.S. degree with highest honors at the age of 17. He will continue his education at Penn State University in the fall.



Norman Glover earned his associate degree in Business Administration in 2012. This year, he earned two A.A.S. degrees: in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts. Glover is combining his skill set as owner of the Root Cellar Tavern in Dorothy, New Jersey.