Scott Morton posing with in graduate regalia
At age 65, a UT Permian Basin business student sets his sights on walking the stage
The phrase “it’s never too late” can be applied in many different scenarios. For UTPB student Scott Morton, it was the driving force behind earning his college degree after 24 years.

Having first enrolled at UTPB in the Fall of 1999, Scott would endure challenges and opposition before officially receiving his diploma at 65-years-old this December.

The Big Spring native moved across the world and lived in Australia for most of his adolescence. When he returned to the United States, his educational credits did not count toward the high school curriculum in Texas.

“I was not too happy with the fact I was about to be 17 years old and still in the 9th grade, so I quit school. I got married at 17, and I went on to get my GED at 18 and luckily went to work four weeks later for Union Pacific Railroad, the same one that runs through Midland/Odessa,” said UTPB grad, Scott Morton.

But, after all these years, Morton never lost sight of his long-term goal.

“I worked at the railroad for 22 years, and for several years of that, I worked in Odessa and I knew about UTPB. I live in a little town called Westbrook, so I drove to and from Odessa about 100 miles one way three days a week semester after semester,” Morton explained.

Morton was only able to take a few classes at a time. Still, he was committed to crossing the finish line toward his educational goals.

“Now the hard, hard work is about to pay off with a college degree.”

He is set to graduate this December with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.

scott-morton-final.jpg“Most of us have medical, car, or life insurance just in case. We hope we will never use it, but we are sure glad we have it when we need it. That is how I look at this bachelor's degree – like an insurance policy – but an insurance policy that no one can ever take away from you. You will always have it when you need it. I am 65 years old right now. Luckily, I am still in good health and not looking to sit back and watch the world go by,” he says. 

As for the future? Morton hopes to find a job that is a little less physically demanding now that he has his degree.

“I plan on using my degree to get a little easier job, just physically easier. I am a building contractor right now, and my job requires climbing ladders, working on roofs, under homes and buildings in crawl spaces, carrying heavy loads, using heavy tools, and operating heavy equipment. I would like to find a bit more of a supervisory job, maybe 40 hours a week instead of 60-70 hours a week. I have been talking to a Community College about teaching building trades. They are currently in need of such a person, and that is one of my first goals for this degree is to try to teach the younger generation a trade that they can use even with a college degree.”

He says he is thankful for the guidance that helped him along his academic journey.

"I truly believe I would have never achieved this accomplishment without UTPB; thank you.”