Bill Galvin

Bill Galvin pictured in Storer Auditorium at the induction ceremony for OCC’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Major: Emergency Management
  • High School: Bishop Grimes, class of 1980

This is Bill Galvin’s time and he’s making the most of it. Galvin is a 56-year-old Syracuse Police Sergeant who raised two daughters and is now focused on life after law enforcement. That’s why he’s come to college later in life. “My biggest accomplishments are my daughters and that I was able to raise them on my own. Now that they’re older I want to complete my education at OCC.”

Galvin’s dream was always to be a Syracuse Police officer just like his father, three uncles and a cousin. When he graduated from Bishop Grimes High School in 1980, Galvin joined the United States Army. He spent three years active duty as a Military Police officer followed by three years in the reserves. In 1985 he continued the family tradition and joined the Syracuse Police force.

Galvin had taken the career path he always wanted but eventually realized it wasn’t enough. “People in the blue collar bracket I was in didn’t think we needed college at the time because we had a great career, we made good money, the pensions were great and the health benefits were great. I was able to raise a family. But over the years I’ve always felt ‘just a little bit less of myself’ because I didn’t have that degree to back up my professional life.”

In recent years family conversations often turned to Galvin going to college. Younger daughter Kelly had taken classes at OCC as had older daughter Courtenay who went on to earn a bachelor’s at Le Moyne and a master’s while serving in the United States Army. “Courtenay was a driving force in getting me to go to college. She gave me a lot of encouragement.”

Galvin began taking classes in the spring 2018 semester. He was apprehensive initially but any concerns about feeling out of place as an older student disappeared quickly. “I was very scared coming here to start. I’m thinking ‘I’m in my 50s. What am I doing?’ Then I met the staff here and they were great. My advisors have been great. My teachers and instructors have been great. I feel very comfortable here. I’m really enjoying it and liking it a lot.”

Galvin earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average in his first semester and in October was inducted into the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa during a ceremony in Storer Auditorium. “I was surprised I was able to come back to school after so many years away and complete the assignments to the point where I could do so well. It was an honor to be inducted. I was very impressed hearing the stories of the other students who were also inducted.”

Galvin plans to earn his degree in December 2019. His long-term goal is to give himself the best employment opportunities possible after he retires from the Syracuse Police Department. “Before I started taking classes I asked many local business leaders what they were looking for. All of them said they needed people with backgrounds in emergency management. Getting a degree and presenting to future employers a better package is my goal. I have all of my police training but I want to give employers more options.”

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