Do you have one of those things that bugs you: something you should have done or didn’t quite complete that is always in the back of your mind?
For Jay Brady, Class of ’58, that “thing” was three credits he needed to get his degree.
Brady came to PSU to run track for Prentice Gudgeon.
“We had an exceptional mile relay team,” Brady said. Then, in his second year, Brady injured his leg and his track career was over. After a stint in the Army, Brady returned to school and resumed work on a business degree. In May of 1958, he participated in commencement with the intention of completing the final three hours of coursework over the summer months.
That spring, however, Brady had a job offer from Rohr Aircraft in San Diego, Calif. It was too good to pass up and he went west, putting aside his plans to complete his degree.
Two years later, Brady returned to the region to work for Grove Valve and Regulator Co., where he was in charge of sales in five states. He was with that company for 22 years before founding X-Sell, a pipeline equipment office in Tulsa, Okla.
Over nearly three decades, Brady had been a successful businessman. He was happily married with “three of the most lovely daughters in the world.”
Then, in 1996, Brady suffered severe heart problems. His condition was so severe that it required a heart transplant.
Over many months, Brady recovered. He retired from his business and got interested in genealogy. But those three unfinished hours of college work still bothered him and ended up at the top of his New Year’s resolution list.
“You look at things you would have liked to have done, that you should have done,” Brady said.
So Brady, who is now 79, picked up the phone and called Dr. Bobby Winters, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at PSU, about becoming a student once again.
“It was clearly important to Mr. Brady and we understood that,” Winters said. “We looked for a way for him to complete his degree and do so in a way that was convenient for him.”
The solution was an online course, which Brady took from his home in Tulsa.
In May, while the Class of 2013 was walking across the stage in John Lance Arena, Jay Brady was home in Tulsa, where his family threw him a party — complete with mortar board and tassel.
Congrats, Jay Brady, Class of 2013!