Arthur Ross, a 71-year-old man, has achieved a significant milestone by completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), after an astonishing 54-year journey. Ross is a record holder for the longest time taken to graduate from a university.
The headline on your story should be ‘UBC finally graduates its slowest student,'” the 71-year-old told UBC with an easy laugh.
Ross first enrolled at UBC in 1969. “I just wanted to learn because I was curious. That desire for learning, he said, is what inspired him to finish his degree after all these years”, he said.
Initially intending to pursue a degree in English, Arthur Ross found his passion for the theatre during his second year at UBC. His devotion to the performing arts became all-consuming, as he spent an increasing amount of time in the theatre department. He was engrossed in participating in productions and enrolling in courses that fuelled his aspiration of becoming an actor.
After studying at UBC for two years, Arthur Ross made the decision to leavethe university. He enrolled in a comprehensive three-year programme at the esteemed National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. However, as Ross delved deeper into the practical aspects of an actor’s life and critically evaluated his own abilities, he arrived at a painful realization.
In November 2016, Ross reached out to UBC and initiated a fresh chapter in his educational journey. He obtained a new student number and wasted no time in January 2017 when he began attending UBC as a part-time student. His academic pursuits shifted towards the realm of history, with a keen focus on the intricacies of the First World War.
I’m appreciative of the students accepting that old guy tuning in from outer space,” he told UBC.