Alex Jaeger recalls that when he first arrived on campus he got some looks.
“I think some of the other students were trying to figure out what I was doing in class,” Jaeger said.
That reaction from classmates wasn’t surprising, given that Jaeger was just 11, making him the youngest full-time student in PSU’s history.
In December, Jaeger, now 15 years old, joined nearly
600 other graduates to receive baccalaureate degrees in music and biology.
Jaeger said he doesn’t remember those first days on campus too clearly.
“I was probably pretty nervous,” he said. “It’s hard to remember. I was just 11.”
Jaeger said soon the other students got used to seeing him on campus and in class. He smiled as he recalled pulling a wheeled case filled with books all over campus during his first year. Now four years older, he has traded the wheeled cart for a more traditional book bag.
Jaeger said he felt accepted, despite the age difference. His teachers were warm and friendly, Jaeger said, which helped make his transition to college life easier.
One of those, Reena Natenberg, his adviser in music, said she’s going to miss having Jaeger on campus.
“Alex is indeed an exceptional young man,” Natenberg said. “Despite his unbelievable achievements, Alex remains a most humble and gracious individual. It has been my pleasure to have known and worked with Alex. I will miss him dearly.”
Jaeger said he is planning on attending graduate school, although he’s not sure where just yet.
He laughed as he pointed out, “It’s not like I can go to work; I’m 15.”