The Last Diploma He Got Was in High School, but Ed Gorman, 69, Is Setting His Cap on a Masters from Oxford
Accomplishing this feat—and earning the privilege of paying $7,000 tuition—required some salesmanship. After his first written inquiries were rebuffed, Gorman turned up at Oxford last July to plead his case in person. "He's a stimulating influence," says Dr. Gerald Aylmer, 60, Master of St. Peter's. "He has a gift of getting on with people." Suitably impressed, Aylmer took the highly unusual step of accepting a nongraduate.
After moving his wife, Clorinda, 57, from their East Hampton, N.Y., home to an Oxford apartment, Gorman had to deal with his classmates. The university has more than its share of left-of-center students, and a few of them—inspired by Gorman's business background and income level—dubbed the new arrival "the tycoon student." But Gorman's personal warmth and academic dedication gradually won them over, eventually eliciting such admiring comments as, "You're the first businessman I've ever known who was honest." The students even extended an invitation to play touch football. "Crazy at my age," says Gorman, "but nice to be asked."
His study program will end in June with nine grueling hours of written exams. Gorman hopes to do well, but no matter what the outcome he won't regret the effort. "I just wanted to learn something," he says, "and the amount of knowledge I'm getting stuffed into my head amazes me."