Senior Spotlight: Alan Bond

By: Megan Katz

Ageism is the discrimination or stereotyping of people based on age. Due to a decline in the economy and the aging baby boomer population, more people are returning to school than ever before.

At Chico State 2,261 students were 25 years or older in fall 2012, said Lynn Abbiati, data analyst at the Institutional Research department (IR). Alan Bond, a student and part-time lecturer at Chico State, is one of them.

Alan Bond : headshot
Bond began his college career before some students were even born. The 49-year-old from Redding, Calif., graduated from Chico State in 1987 with a major in construction management.

After college, Bond began his career in the Bay Area working for West Coast Construction. He eventually worked his way up through the company and became CEO and majority shareholder.

Bond remembers leaving the undergraduate program thinking he never wanted to go back to school, but after a few years working in the industry, he started to reconsider his career path.

Bond thought that if he were able to return to Chico, giving back by sharing his industry experience

would be a worthy cause, he said.

Since his graduation, Bond has always been involved in the construction management program. "I've always believed in this program, Bond said. "I've hired numerous students from the program, I've been involved as an alumni. I felt it was something that enabled me in the industry to have a lot of success."

Going back to school has been a challenging experience for Bond, who had to adjust to being a student again.

"I think it's interesting," he said. "It's pretty hard trying to turn back into a student when you're 50 years old."

Bond admits it's difficult balancing being a professor and a student, who finds himself either completely immersed in his own schoolwork or in teaching. "My balance is way off," he said.

He adds that his wife is looking forward to graduation as well. "Her comment was something to the effect of, you're working harder now than you did the last 24 years in industry," he said.

In classes, Bond introduces himself as the "old guy," as he is usually the oldest person in the classroom. Having industry experience gives him a unique point of view that helps to start conversations and add to the classroom dynamic.

In May, Bond will graduate with a masters in business administration, and will begin teaching full time in fall 2013.

For now, his only construction project is the remodeling of his home.

"Our plans are, as long as they will have us, we will stay in Chico," Bond said.

What is Ageism? // Enrollments