World’s Slowest Student Finally Graduates at 71: Completes Degree After 54 Years

Vancouver: Arthur Ross, a 71-year-old retiree, has set a new record for the longest time taken to complete a university degree, graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) after an impressive 54 years. Ross enrolled at UBC in 1969 with a keen desire to learn and satisfy his curiosity.

Initially interested in pursuing a degree in English, Ross’s passion for theatre took hold during his second year at UBC. He found himself captivated by the vibrant and electric atmosphere of the theatre department. Immersed in shows and theatre-related courses, his nascent goal of becoming an actor was kindled. He had the opportunity to interact with renowned Canadian actors, further fueling his theatrical aspirations.

However, after two years at UBC, Ross made a significant decision. Recognizing the practical realities of an actor’s life and assessing his own proficiency, he came to the painful realization that he might not achieve greatness in the field. In 1975, he redirected his academic pursuits and embarked on a law degree in Toronto. After graduating successfully, he went on to practice as a civil litigator in Metro Vancouver for 35 years, retiring in 2016.

In November 2016, driven by a renewed sense of curiosity, Ross reached out to UBC. He obtained a new student number and, by January 2017, became a part-time student focusing on history, particularly the First World War. His aim was to understand the motivations behind people’s participation in the war and delve into the intriguing aspects of Canadian history. Despite being an older student, Ross expressed his gratitude for the acceptance he received from his fellow classmates, describing himself as an “old guy tuning in from outer space.”

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