Most teenagers are just now beginning to plan their college career, but not UTC student Quinn Pertuit. At 19-years-old, he is the youngest person ever to graduate from the University.
Pertuit began his education at UTC at age 16 after graduating early from his high school in Germantown, Tennessee.
“When I first started college, no one knew how old I was. When I told people, everyone was surprised. I heard the phrase, ‘No way!’ quite a bit,” he said.
Though he may be younger than most of his classmates, Pertuit insists he hasn’t had trouble fitting in.
“Once people got over the initial shock, I was just another student. I think the quality of my work and the way I present myself suppresses the age difference,” he said.
During his time at UTC, the business management major balanced a course load of 18 hours per semester, extracurricular activities, and a part-time job.
“Throughout my college career, I lived in a house in North Chattanooga where I was responsible for paying the bills and doing all the maintenance. It was a lot of responsibility,” he said. “If you put a 16-year-old out there living by himself with his own car, own job, going to school, and supporting himself, that’s really what made me mature fast.”
In addition to his extracurricular activities, Pertuit excelled during his studies at UTC. He was named the 2013-2014 outstanding senior for the business management program, and graduated summa cum laude.
“It feels like such an accomplishment, especially with balancing work, school, and everything else,” he said.
“The college experience is about more than just achieving excellence. It’s also about being involved in student organizations and making connections too. I’ve made a lot of good friends at UTC,” Pertuit continued.