Skip to main content

Photographer walks for commencement - 20 years after earning degree

Ron Moore and wife

Ron Moore decided, at age 48, that it was time to finish the associate degree he started at GRCC two decades ago.

“They added some new requirements to the (photography) degree program,” he said. “At that time,
I was already working full time as a photographer, and I was getting married.”

“The degree just got back-burnered.”

After working as a photographer’s assistant for several years, Moore opened Photo Op Studio in Holland in 2005. Photo Op offers commercial, event, wedding, real estate and portrait photography.

But college still felt like unfinished business to Moore. So in March, he stopped by GRCC’s new Lakeshore Campus to see how many credits he needed to finish his degree. Academic advisor Kristie Kozub, a former West Ottawa High School classmate of Moore’s, had some good news for him.

“Apparently, I had been sitting on 62 credits for almost 20 years!” Moore said. “Kristie explained I already had enough credits to graduate and could have done it a long time ago – it was crazy!”

So on April 29, Moore walked across the stage at GRCC’s commencement and accepted his long-awaited diploma.

“My mom is alive and healthy, and I wanted her to see me walk,” he said. “But I also wanted to do it for myself because it’s important to finish what you start.

“It took a lot of discipline back then going to college and working my butt off full time. But that discipline helped sculpt me into the person I am today – and I’m proud of that.”