William Woerz III
Grad Stories (2013)
William Woerz III was a student at Norco College in 2001 when terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City. The attack compelled William to postpone his education and to enlist in the U.S. Army. He chose Topographic Surveyor as his Military Occupational Specialty so he could build on the drafting skills he had already acquired at Norco College. After an honorable discharge due to a back injury sustained during a 2003 tour in Iraq, William started working for architectural and engineering firms. He soon realized that he needed to finish his education if he was going to advance in his chosen career. William, who is 35 and married with two children, returned to Norco College where he became the go-to person for younger students who sought him out for advice. “Being the wise old owl and coming back to college proved to them deep down that as a parent, a returning student and a veteran, if I can do it, anybody can do it,” William said. Today, William is graduating with associate’s degrees in Architecture, Humanities, Philosophy & Arts, and Social & Behavioral Sciences, all with Great Distinction. Last quarter, he enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona where he is pursuing a degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a minor in Historic Preservation, an interest he developed growing up in Riverside and through his world travels.
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