For the past four years, George Watt has made an annual visit to Midland to take in a Great Lakes Loons game with family and reunite with his fellow students, alums and coworkers. Watt has many ties to Davenport University
— as a student, an employee and an alum. He received his associate’s degree at Great Lakes College and his bachelor’s degree and postgraduate certificate from Davenport.
Watt recalls, “Looking back now at my chances of earning a degree, I knew I had everything working against me. I was a first generation student with a low high school GPA and ACT score. I wasn’t eligible for scholarships and I was working while attending school.”
Watt overcame the obstacles and was so impressed with his time as a student that he came to work for Davenport. Watt was an academic advisor at the Grand Rapids and Midland campuses for 10 years.
“Having so many life experiences has made me a better advisor to my students,” said Watt. “I had a rough time starting college. I’ve worked in banks, retail and the hotel industry. I know what it’s like to go back to school and put yourself through college.”
Since his time as a student, Watt has made many transformations while remaining agile and flexible in his choices. He moved to Alabama in 2014 to be an academic advisor for the University of Alabama – Huntsville. Watt received a master’s in military history and organizational management and a post graduate certificate in human resources. He’s undergone a body transformation by losing over 165 pounds, he’s taken up hiking for recreation, and has written and published four books.
“Along with history, writing is a passion of mine. I’ve recently combined them both with a children’s historical fiction book. I’m also working on submitting my next book to a publisher,” Watt explains. “Another passion of mine is living a healthy life. I’ve worked for five years toward my weight loss and it’s been through healthy choices and an active lifestyle that I’ve kept the weight off. Now I am able to hike trails to some breathtaking historical sites here in Alabama.”
Wherever life takes Watt, there’s a theme throughout his journey — to be a lifelong learner — whether it’s through his schooling, writing, his faith, guitar lessons or work.
“There’s a saying that Davenport instilled in me, ‘Make a living, make a life, make a contribution’. I’ve always tried to live my life that way.”
Watt explains, “My bachelor’s degree has been the turning point in my career. It opened doors, which led to new jobs and new opportunities. I never thought a kid like me with a high school GPA of 2.0 could be a college graduate, let alone one with two master’s degrees and publishing my own books.”