79-Year-Old Engineer Heads Back to College to Fulfill His Dream

He's already got three degrees and 20 patents to his name, but Robert Mostello felt like something was missing: an English literature degree.

While some people can't wait for school to be over, the same can't be said for Robert Mostello.

At age 79, this grandfather from Somerville, New Jersey has just started his first year studying at Rutgers University. And while he's already got three chemical engineering degrees to his name, this time around, he's focusing on English literature.

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“To go back to school and capture some of that rich education that’s available in English literature, English history, the language, the use of the language," Mostello told InsideEdition.com. "I feel it would make me a better person and would enrich my value to anybody else."

In his younger days, Mostello, who goes by "Bob," achieved three chemical engineering degrees: a BA from New Jersey Institute of Technology and his master's and doctorate from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He married, had four daughters and went on to work as a chemical engineer for more than 50 years, earning 20 patents in the industrial gas industry.

Despite his success, he still felt something significant was missing from his education: "humanities."

He's now taking two classes: "Twentieth Century Women Writers" and "Principles of Literary Theory," where he is reading "Pride and Prejudice" and "Mrs. Dalloway." And despite his age, he fits in just fine with his teenage classmates.

“They do know I’m quite a bit older — I’m like old enough to be their grandpa, that’s for sure. But I’m pleased with the intelligence of the students and with how polite they are,” Mostello said.

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Not only does he attend Rutgers as a part-time student, he also works as principle engineering associate at AMCS Corporation in Bedminster.

Despite fulfilling his dream to head back to the classroom, he still has many more. Among them, he'd like to write an eight-page article in the New York Times about technical education and education in the humanities, such as English literature.

“Of course, the New York Times doesn’t know that yet,” Mostello laughed.

He is a perfect illustration that anything is possible at any time in life.

“I am getting older," he said. "I’ll be four square this year and one consolation is that Robert Redford and I are getting older together."

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