George Hess is a familiar face at Loyola Marymount University's College of Business Administration.
The 82-year-old Newport Beach resident has commuted to the Los Angeles-based campus for the past 42 years where he has served as associate dean and as a professor of management.
Hess will retire this week, marking the end of a four-decade-long tenure with the private university.
"It's been a good trip — a pleasant and enjoyable 42 years," Hess said earlier this week.
Before becoming a management professor Hess served in the Army as a reserve officer and worked at the Financial Management School in Indiana in 1957. He also taught management courses at Indiana University while in the Army.
He worked for General Electric with plans to become an executive for the company but his stints in teaching made him realize his true passion was in education. He later earned his PhD in management in 1974 at Arizona State University.
"I almost stayed in the Army," he said. "I was very tempted but I realized I changed my mind because I really liked teaching. I was like a kid in a candy store."
When Hess began working for Loyola Marymount in 1975, he brought a plethora of experience to his students.
He said he instantly became involved with the college by helping to develop curriculum, coordinating study abroad trips to Germany and serving on the faculty senate.
Hess said his favorite part of teaching was leading his strategic management course, a capstone class preparing students on how to "strategically and conceptually think and plan for the unknown."
Hess will continue with his volunteer work with Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach and Worknet, an outreach program he established at the parish.
Nonprofit Share Our Selves CEO Karen McGlinn said Hess is an "extraordinary man you only meet once in a lifetime."
McGlinn, who is also a parishioner at the Newport Beach church, said Hess has applied his academic skills to the community with Worknet where he helps people create resumes, find jobs and hosts guest speakers.
"When someone would come in to work on resumes, he'd tap us for resources they may need," she said. "It's a comprehensive program he took on with extraordinary effort."
Even as a professor at the university, McGlinn said Hess acknowledged the importance of helping the community and identifying areas in which he wanted to make a difference.
And now with more free time, Hess plans to see what he can do to help reduce homelessness in Orange County.
"I've been going to meetings on this for 15 years," Hess said. "I'd like to try and speed that up a bit."