Adjunct Professor Mike Rhea, a Marine veteran and career journalist who worked in New York City for 27 years and taught at Columbia University, is leaving the classroom at Dover Air Force Base after the next seven-week semester.

Rhea, 80, began teaching college writing for Wesley College in 2008.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to teach the men and women of the Air Force,” said Rhea. “I can relate to them because I began taking college courses 60 years ago at the University of Hawaii, when I was stationed on Oahu as a Marine. They have been dedicated and hard-working students, and I will miss the classroom, but at 80, it is time to step away.”

This is Rhea’s second retirement, after retiring from Reuters News Agency in 2005 after 31 years.

He was hired by Wesley College in 2005 as a visiting instructor in journalism on a one-year contract.

“I will be forever grateful to Dr. Linda DeRoche, who offered me a position on the base,” said Rhea. “Administrator Tracey Lundblad has been a joy to work with.”

Rhea holds master’s degrees from New School University in media studies and from Columbia University in curriculum theory and design.

He began his journalism career in 1960 at the Ponca City News in Oklahoma. He began teaching at William Paterson University in 1977 as an assistant professor, teaching by day and working the overnight shift for Reuters.

He taught at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia as an adjunct from spring of 1982 through spring of 1983. He was a full-time faculty member during the next school year as he continued to work for Reuters. After he transferred to Washington, D.C. in 1995, he taught as an adjunct at American University and the University of Maryland.