World’s ‘slowest student,’ Arthur Ross graduates after 54 years

Seema Rai
Seema Rai

Arthur Ross, now 71, finally finished his Bachelor of Arts degree more than 50 years after he began his studies. He was dubbed the world’s “slowest student.” And broke the previous record of Robert FP Cronin, who needed 52 years to complete his studies. The US had just sent the first man to the moon, and The Beatles were just about to release their landmark album Abbey Road. When Arthur started studying at the University of British Columbia in 1969.

worlds slowest student

As students advance into the real world, universities all over the world are getting ready to award degrees to their graduates and undergrads. And on May 25, during the University of British Columbia’s commencement ceremony, Arthur Ross accompanied the students as they walked up to the podium to get their degrees.

He enrolled in the UBC to pursue a degree in English

Ross already has all the global experiences that his younger counterparts will be setting out to explore after working as a civil lawyer up until his retirement in 2016. Ross has had a fascinating and motivating life trajectory. In 1969, shortly after graduating from the Prince of Wales high school in the same city, he enrolled in the UBC in Vancouver to pursue a degree in English.

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It was also around my house. It implied that I could stay in. I wasn’t foolish, Ross said in a news release. Ross’ interests, however, soon shifted from literature to theater. After studying theater for two years at UBC, he decided to enroll in a three-year program at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.

arthur ross

But he was in for some major detours in life. Ross had to return to UBC to complete one more year of coursework since he needed a total of three years of education before he could apply to law school.

Before retiring in 2016, he practiced civil litigation in Metro Vancouver for the ensuing 35 years. Ross discovered he still had the need to finish his BA degree from five decades ago rather than diving in headfirst to travel, spending time with kids, and other relaxing activities that retired people partake in.

According to a press release from UBC, he called the university in November 2016, requested a new student ID, and by January 2017 was a part-time student majoring in history with a specialty on the First World War. For the following six years, he pursued his degree at his own pace, enrolling in one subject at a time.

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