It is unknown for sure, but arguably Vince Iacampo of White Township may be the oldest graduate of any degree or certificate program at Warren County Community College.
In recognition of his milestone educational effort, Iacampo was presented with the President’s Inspirational Leadership Award at this year’s college commencement, May 21.
“Vince is an inspiration to students of all ages,” said Dr. Will Austin, president of WCCC. “Vince has been a success throughout his life, as many already know. Yet strives to do more.”
He may be the oldest graduate from WCCC, but there is nothing old about Iacampo.
When fellow students in his Physical Therapist Aide certificate program found out that Iacampo was 83, yet in terrific shape, their jaws just about hit the ground.
“At the beginning of the semester the other students would run ahead and open the door for me out of respect,” said Iacampo. “I soon became just Vince, another student, and I opened my own door.”
WCCC is known for its welcoming atmosphere for older adults returning to college for one reason or another. Iacampo clearly fits the community college non-traditional student mold, and then some.
His classmates ranged in age from about 18 to late 40s, said Iacampo, who received his certificate in December and is now doing a volunteer internship at Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey in Hackettstown.
Iacampo has been an engineer nearly his whole life – and still does some work – and the past few years also has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for older adults at fitness centers in the area. He currently works two days a week at the Center of Healthier Living at Hackettstown Medical Center. For Iacampo, becoming a certified Physical Therapist aide was a natural progression.
“My mother used to say that age is only a number,” he said. “Once you stop it’s hard to get going again. You have to keep moving. This keeps me moving and others moving.”
Iacampo is no stranger to the community at-large, having lived in White Township for the past six years and in Hackettstown for 40 years before that. He has always been active in the community, on many different fronts, including as a longtime member of the Hackettstown Kiwanis Club.
Through his community work, Iacampo has had an influence and been an inspiration to many people over the years. There are numerous examples, too many to count.
One such example very recently came when Iacampo’s daughter’s friend, at age 53, decided to go back to school to get a degree as a registered nurse.
“She said that if your dad can go back to school at his age, I can do it at my age,” related Iacampo, who lives with his wife Marie O’Hara – between them, in two marriages, they have 10 children and 17 grandchildren. “She is extremely happy with her decision.”
There is no question that Vince Iacampo is an inspiration – to himself, his friends, his family, and anyone who comes in contact with him.