Greg Freitag is proof it’s never too late to find your passion. The 55-year-old father of seven found what he was looking for when he took his daughter on a college visit to Paul Smith’s in the Adirondacks. “I loved their presentation on hospitality management and realized I was much more excited about it than she was!” A short time later he saw a news story about Paul Smith’s and OCC partnering on a bachelor’s degree program and everything fell into place for him.
Freitag enrolled in OCC’s Hospitality Management program, went to classes during the day and held down his overnight job in the physical plant at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Freitag also took a second job in the hospitality industry, working at the Courtyard by Marriott in Armory Square where he was named employee of the month. Through it all he maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was inducted into the College’s student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He was also rewarded with a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, one of only six OCC students to be so honored.
Freitag earned his degree from OCC in December 2014. “Before I came back to school I had convinced myself I couldn’t do it, but once I returned and got into it I loved it. I enjoyed the teachers, I enjoyed the people I was going to school with, I loved all of it.”
Freitag will start working toward his bachelor’s degree from Paul Smith’s College in the fall. In the meantime he has an athletic goal to pursue. In 2014 he medaled in the Senior Empire State Games Track & Field competition. This summer he will be one of 12,000 participants in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis.