Student Takes Record 54 Years to Finish Bachelors Degree: 'I Have Been To All of My Children's Graduations'

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree on Thursday, Arthur Ross is now the new record holder for the longest time to complete a university degree



A University of British Columbia student has walked the stage with more than just a college degree!

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree on Thursday, Arthur Ross is now the new record holder for the longest time to complete a university degree after taking 54 years to graduate.

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"I have been to all of my children's graduations," expressed the 71-year-old to the BBC. "My daughter says I really should go off and pursue a master's degree somewhere. I am pleased to have come this far."

According to Business Insider, Ross enrolled in the institution in 1969 and came out of retirement six years ago after leaving his 35-year-long lawyer career in 2016. While the COVID pandemic slowed down his path to receiving his degree, he shared with the Vancouver Sun that his desire to finish what he started was inspired by a passion for learning.

"I always thought maybe at some point, I would go back and try to finish off that degree, just as something to do," he told the outlet.



While Ross applauds his fellow graduates, he shared with the Vancouver Sun that completing a college education is something anyone can do at any age, expressing that the experience helped him "sharpen his brain."

"It's important to do the reports and the exams," he explained. "It sharpens your brain. And it's a constant reminder that no matter how much you think you know, you don't know enough."

Ross's passion for learning also made him content with not being "particularly focused on anything" throughout his early education.

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The graduate shared with the BBC that he initially enrolled at the University of British Columbia, looking to pursue acting after being involved in the school's theater club. While he would excel in the area after first leaving the institution to get a certificate from the National Theatre School, he decided to switch his focus to law.

"I decided, 'Well, maybe I should go to law school and become a lawyer,' sort of that last resort for everybody who can't quite figure out what they want to do," he told the outlet.

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Throughout his experiences, Ross shares that the most significant takeaway from his journey has been to take advantage of his interests, explaining, "It's a waste not to take the opportunity to study something, anything, that is of interest to you. Here, the opportunity has presented itself to me, and I have enjoyed it."

He added: "The plan always was one course at a time. I wasn't going to sit down and take five courses all at once." 

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