Meet Dr. Peter Fung: 76-year-old retired neurologist set to be oldest UC Berkeley MBA graduate

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
76-year-old doctor set to be oldest UC Berkeley MBA graduate
A Bay Area doctor, who retired from practicing medicine, is set to graduate from UC Berkeley's executive MBA program as the oldest student ever.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A Bay Area doctor, who retired from practicing medicine, decided he had more to accomplish in life.

He's now set to graduate from Cal's executive MBA program as the oldest student ever.

"I hope you won't mention my age!," said the inspirational Dr Peter Fung.

This 76-year-old neurologist is in the class of 2024, poised to be the oldest graduate at the storied UC Berkeley Haas School of Business executive MBA program.

LESLIE BRINKLEY: "Why not just retire?"

DR PETER FUNG: "That's a good question. I ask myself that all the time. I closed down my clinical practice in January 2022 and within a month, I got so bored and I just thought, I have not reached my potential as yet."

So Dr Fung, on the board at the El Camino Health District and the leader of the hospital's stroke program decided, that at age 76, an MBA might help him reach his next goal: to run for a seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

He started classes two years ago.

"I was blown away. There were so many things I did not know, and Leslie, after a couple of weeks of failed tests, I said I'm going to learn all that," he said.

His classmates were all in their 30s and his biggest shortcoming was his lack of technical skills.

"They are all the age of my children. It's kind of a little bit awkward. And there's an app called Excel, and the young people are all very good at it, and I had never used it," Dr. Fung said.

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So his fellow students helped him navigate.

Fung joked, "These are people who are great, intelligent and when they are partying, they can be wild. So I'm sorry, I joined them!"

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His professors give him credit for his tenacity and grit.

"That's true for someone in their 20s, that's true for someone who's 40, that's certainly true for someone in their 70s. He was an active participant in class and doesn't look like he's in his mid-70s," said Reed Wallergy, professor of economics at Haas School of Business.

So Dr Fung bops around the Cal campus telling everyone to keep learning in every decade of life.

"Nowadays, of course, we will be talking about artificial intelligence so there's more to learn, so I'm going to be a student forever here," he said.

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