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Addicted to education: U of R student graduates with 5 degrees

REGINA – Chris Gbekorbu has spent 17 years – and counting – in university.

“I find it all interesting,” he said of his love for learning.

The start to his university career is a common story: “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, kind of bounced around a few different departments.”

He finally settled on English, but had enough credits for a second degree.  Next was grad school, but his first Master’s (also in English) soon lead to his second. He decided to pursue his MBA, but couldn’t resist getting one more undergraduate degree first.

“Economics was somewhat related, it’s sort of interesting and it ties in with business, it ties in with my other research interests, so I thought why not?”

Gbekorbu’s full-time job as a researcher and technical writer at ISC has helped him pay for this unusual hobby, which he estimates has cost him over $60,000.

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“It’s probably a bit of an addiction, but again, there’s just so much to learn, so much to do and I just want to learn as much as I can,” he explained.

His five degrees have allowed him to pursue other passions – and lest you think he’s all brains and no brawn, he’s also a landlord and a personal trainer. So how about another degree in kinesiology?

“I’ll say I’d consider it,” he said.

“He’s incredibly well-read, he’s incredibly curious,” said Tom Chase, University of Regina provost and Gbekorbu’s supervisor for his Master’s of English.  “I’m not personally aware of another person who’s received five degrees from one institution.”

And even though his head is filled with knowledge, it hasn’t gotten any bigger.

“Chris is not only taking in and learning; he’s giving back to the world of learning by doing research,” said Chase.

And he’ll continue to. He doesn’t know what field yet, but he has plans to pursue his PhD.

“There’s a blank spot on my wall now, so I sort of feel compelled to get another one,” said Gbekorbu.

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