» By TIFFANY COMER – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Coozie Britton is the type of student that makes a professor proud and keeps a faculty member coming back to teach year after year.” These are the words that Britton’s self-proclaimed favorite professor at APSU, Shirley Hagewood, associate professor of Mathematics, had to say about him. Britton’s story is one of inspiration. He is a 77 year old man who will soon be graduating APSU with his bachelor’s degree in Spanish.
Britton’s road toward graduation has not been an easy one. He is a US Marines, and US Air Force Veteran, serving three years in each branch. When Britton got out of the military in 1962, he decided he wanted to go back to school. His journey started at Temple University High School where he had to complete two years before he could move on to college. Once he was considered a high school graduate he attended seven colleges spanning from California, to Michigan, and finally landing in Tennessee.
Amongst these colleges Mr. Britton says he attended schools from the status of elite to the status of low income. He said that “whether top caliber or low there was always something valuable to learn.” During his many years he has watched several of his colleges change names as well as predominantly African American schools turn to predominantly Caucasian and vice versa.
Along with his many experiences with colleges Mr. Britton has traveled the world to places such as London, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia studying other languages and learning about international politics and how life is lived in communist countries. Mr. Britton is fluent in Spanish, English and Swedish, and knows some French and German.
When asked about what it is like to be a nontraditional student Mr. Britton said, “as far as academic performance goes I was not up to par in the latest technology which made studies difficult. Without those skills it is hard to access information needed for classes, so I just had to learn it.”
Mr. Britton wishes to teach English to foreigners and aspires to continue college classes by taking courses the will lead to a bachelors in political science.
Mr. Britton may be a man of age, but he has no plans on “retiring” from school any time soon. He says, “I have fulfilled my mama’s wishes by reaching graduation, and will hopefully teach, but my daddy is out of luck because being a doctor, or lawyer was just not for me.”