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For many, earning a four-year college degree is a major task and accomplishment. Well, for a 77-year-old Ellenwood, Georgia man, that was just a start.

Hurl Taylor, a prominent defense attorney, wore his college cap and gown for the eighth time to receive a masters from Emory University, WSB-TV reports.

“I’m really excited because I think sometimes, senior citizens kind of pine away. They don’t do a lot. Going back to school, for me, keeps the old mind very active and I like academics,” he told WSB-TV.

Taylor, a 20-year Army veteran, earned a Master of Religion in Public Life degree from Emory’s Candler School of Theology. Back in 1985, at age 47, he also completed a law degree at Emory.

According to the news station, Taylor was a lead defense attorney at the trial of 11 Atlanta educators who were found guilty in a standardized test cheating scandal.

Taylor told WSB-TV that he “needed a break” following that trial:

“I seriously started thinking that I wanted to get a bit more religious education, and I wanted to use it more or less to teach and work with youth in prison,” he added.

His immediate plans include working with his church’s prison ministry, which regularly visits the DeKalb Regional Youth Detention Center.

Taylor also plans to visit Germany for three weeks with his former classmates and instructors. It’s a study trip to examine contemporary German religion in the context of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation.



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