I received some nice news in the mail yesterday, notification that I was named to the Dean’s List at Saint Joseph’s University for the Spring 2008 term.

You get named to the list for being a senior and maintaining at least a 3.50 GPA. Right now in the summer term, I am attending a Sociology class that is my next-to-last class work.

In the fall term, will have one more Sociology that will be my final class. That will finally earn me my Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

My current GPA is over 3.90, with only three A- grades keeping me from that perfect 4.0 over the years.

About five years ago at this time someone finally got through to me regarding the importance of going after my formal education, even in my 40’s. I had been putting it off for over two decades.

I had been set to attend LaSalle University here in Philadelphia when I first graduated from high school back in 1979. However, my high school girlfriend and I got pregnant, and I went out to work instead.

I had two beautiful daughters and a career in banking that lasted over a decade. Neither that career or the marriage lasted.

After joining the Philadelphia Police Department in 1990, learning and enjoying the police career was my life. And then, I met my wonderful wife and got married in 1995.

School was something that always remained a regret in my mind. I actually got to the point where I put it down, publicly taking the position that it wasn’t really important for someone to succeed in life.

Again, someone finally got through to me. That someone was anonymous on a message board, which is something that I absolutely hate, anonymity in posting on the web. But whatever that person said, it got to me.

So, for the past five years I have gone to night school. First to the Community College of Philadelphia, and now for the past two years at St. Joe’s.

Making the Dean’s List and being set to graduate next spring has made all the time, money, and work feel very worthwhile.

So thanks to that anonymous poster. Thanks to CCP and St. Joe’s for the opportunities. Thanks to the PPD for their relationship with those educational institutions.

If any of you are friends or family members, or even other cops or adults outside of the law enforcement profession, and you have been putting this or some other opportunity off because you feel it simply has passed you by, don’t do that.

Don’t sell yourself short. Go for it. You can do whatever you really decide to set your mind to accomplish. The important thing is to get started, and don’t give up or take a break until you reach your goal.

For me, now I have an alma mater (almost), and a Philly Big Five college that I can point to at tournament time with pride and say “The Hawk Will Never Die!