David Goelst graduated with a General Studies diploma from Capilano University on June 5, 2017 – at the age of 73.

“There’s only one thing older on the campus, and that’s some of the trees,” he quips.

But being a mature student on campus hasn’t got Goelst down.

“I absolutely love Capilano,” he says. “It’s really the happiest part of my life, outside of family, no question about it.”

Goelst, who was an elementary school principal in Zimbabwe and then worked in finance in South Africa, feels particularly inspired by his communication instructors at CapU.

Dr. Kym Stewart really fired me up,” he says. “As young as she is, I look at her with great respect and admiration. She really whet my appetite to do more than an associate degree, although I’m doing this for fun because at the age of 73, going on 74, I don’t need a degree, not another one.”

Goelst plans to complete a bachelor of Communication Studies at CapU.

He valued his education at CapU so much that he was satisfied to pay international student fees. He only recently became a permanent resident of Canada.

The septuagenarian may have completed his course work for this year, but he isn’t about to take a well-earned break.

Instead, he and his wife opened The Baker and Baron café on Marine Drive a month ago.

“We hope [this] is going to be our retirement package,” he said on the phone from the café, “and that we’ll keep working until we fall over.”

Goelst maintains a blog about his life in Africa, which includes his memories of his granny, her leopard and his family’s pet monkey. One of his tales was a runner-up in a Cosmopolitan short story contest and another was a semifinalist with Mills & Boon. Goelst has written two manuscripts that he would like to see published.

“My degree at Capilano is really to give me more tools for my hobby,” he says. “It’s not that I’m going to have a career in communications; it’s just wonderful to have the knowledge and feeding on the wonderful work of incredible people like [instructors] Michael Markwick and Kym Stewart and many others.”

Submitted by Cheryl Rossi, Communications & Marketing