Lifelong Learners: Edward McClory

Edward McClory

Edward McClory  

Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Sociology concentration

School: St. Xavier University

Graduation: May 2022

The past few years have taught Edward McClory a lot — and not just because he was in school. 

In 2016, McClory was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. The marine veteran found out two years later that he also had liver cancer. He lifts his shirt to trace the scar across his abdomen, from when he underwent a liver transplant in 2019.

“I’ve seen a lot,” he says. “My interests picked up after a couple life scares.”

McClory, who retired from his work as an engineer in 2018, decided that school could be just what he needed — for perspective, distraction, and knowledge. He focused on liberal arts, taking a mix of classes in sociology, aging, and Catholicism.  

“Because of my age — I just turned 66 — I knew I really wasn’t going to go into business and be a big Wall Street person. Liberal arts gave me an opportunity to take a variety of subjects,” McClory says.

A lifelong Catholic who credits his wife and his faith with getting him through his recent health challenges, McClory says he was especially drawn to his Catholicism class. “I’ve been a Catholic all my life. There’s so much to it. You could study Catholicism the rest of your life and not know everything,” he says, adding with a smile, “The teacher was a veteran, too.”

Now, McClory plans to substitute teach.

“You’re never too old to learn,” he says — even if you may be older than the teachers. “I had a lot of fun.”

Above photo by Jim Vondruska
Originally published in the Winter/Spring 2023 print issue.