PHOTO | The world's "slowest student" finally graduated: At 71, after 54 years of enrollment
After more than five decades after starting his studies, Arthur Ross (71) finally walked on the stage of University of British Columbia (UBC) on Thursday to get his Bachelor of Arts, writes The BBC.
Arthur Ross said he probably was "the slowest student" at the University of Vancouver.
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Ross may also be the slowest student in the world. He needed them exactly 54 years to complete his degree – two years longer than Guinness World Record holder Robert F. Q. Cronin, who began his graduate studies in biology at Princeton University in 1948 years and graduated in March 2000, XNUMX
But Ross said he is in no rush to win the world record title. The real reward, he said, was the knowledge he was able to gain through the classes.
"I just wanted to learn because I was curious," Ross told the BBC this week. That desire to learn, he said, is what inspired him to complete his degree after all these years.
When Arthur Ross first enrolled at the University of 1969 years, САД they just "landed" it the first man on The moon и The Beatles were preparing to release their seminal album Abbey Road.
He had just finished high school then, he said, and wasn't "focused on anything in particular." Ross joined the campus theater club, where he discovered a passion for acting.
After only two years at the University, Ross decided to change course and move to Montreal, where he began studying at The National Theater School.
He completed his studies there, receiving a certificate of achievement. But Ross said he soon realized that he doesn't want acting to become his career.
"I decided, 'well, maybe I should go to law school and become a lawyer,' as a last resort for anyone who can't quite figure out what they want to do," he said.
Arthur Ross he first enrolled at University of British Columbia in 1969. Ross returned to UBK to complete an additional year of schooling, a total of three years needed to apply to law school. He was admitted to University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he acquired with profession doctor of law.
He continued to have a rich legal career 35 years, he said, before retiring in March 2016, XNUMX
Then Ross decided that maybe it was time to finish what he had started before five decades.
"It was always in the back of my mind that, 'oh, maybe one day you'll go back to university and start working on that degree.'"
Ross paced himself, taking one course at a time until his graduation.
He decided to focus his studies on history, inspired to learn more about the First World War after watching the 1909 German opera Electra.
"It's a waste not to take the opportunity to study something, anything, that interests you," he said. "Here, the opportunity presented itself and I enjoyed it."
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A few things changed when Arthur Ross returned to British Columbia after all these years. First, the campus expanded in size, and his tuition was free now that he is a retired senior.
Technology has also developed by leaps and bounds, allowing him – like most students during the covid-19 pandemic – to complete some of his classes online.
Ross said the experience left him in awe of UBK's accomplished faculty, as well as his fellow students who managed to sustain their studies despite the hardships and disruptions caused by the pandemic.
"They must have lost something at that point, but there was a part of their character that said, 'OK, we're just going to have to do this in a different way.' "I'm extremely impressed with what they've done," said Ross.
After six years of work at his graduation, Ross said he was excited to walk across the stage and commemorate his achievement.
"I was at all my children's graduations and graduations," he said. Now, it's his family's turn to celebrate him.
As for what's next, Ross said he's in no rush.
"My daughter says I should really go and get a master's degree somewhere," but he said he would wait and see. "I'm pleased to have made it this far."