Super Seniors: Bill Doyle - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Seniors: Bill Doyle


In a small cluttered office at Johnson State College, Professor Bill Doyle is getting ready for his class.

He travels the short distance to a room a full of students. It's American History, all ready to comment on this years presidential lineup.

Each student comments. It's a roundtable of sorts, giving a short presentation on what's being reported. This is a tradition for Bill, a professor here for more than 50 years. He's seen changes through the years and says these students have to be more connected to the world.

"Global economy is much more of a challenge for everyone in this room than say 30 to 40 years ago," Doyle says.

Professor Doyle's class goes into the evening, but it's not his only job. He maneuvers through the masses in Montpelier as Senator Doyle of Washington County -- the dean of the Senate.

Students from the State Colleges are protesting the increasing cost of a college education. Senator Doyle is sympathetic.

Just down from the Governor's office is where much of the wheeling and dealing happens in Vermont. The Statehouse cafeteria.

He's breaking bread with a fellow senator, Anthony Pollina. The longtime Progressive is on the other political spectrum of the moderate Republican Doyle. They've known each other since the 70s. Bill was Pollina's professor. He says it isn't strange to see a former student sitting next to him as a peer.

"It's not strange because he was networking when he was in college. He's doing the same thing," Doyle says.

The spirit of bipartisanship is common under the Golden Dome, but there was one time the soft-spoken Senator did get into a dust up. Then-Governor Dean accused the Republican leader of stone-walling on an issue.

It was 10 years ago, and Governor Dean was often out of the state. Doyle asked if he would be out fo the state running for President. It was an uncommon public confrontation.

The New York native is most proud of his internship program with college students and the long-standing public opinion poll called the Doyle Poll -- on what Vermonters think is important. He says he's been doing this for years -- and he plans to continue.

"This is the 42 year," Doyle says. "I'm working on the questions as we speak."

Even though back issues keep him in a permanent hunch, The 85 year old has no intention of retiring. He's running again -- for as long as the voters of Washington County want him to serve.

A man who feels honored to wear two hats -- and says the zest for his job only grows with each passing year.

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