Arthur Ross, a 71-year-old man, has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) after 54 years. Ross is now the record holder for the longest time taken to graduate from a university. He initially enrolled in UBC in 1969 and found his passion for theatre during his second year. After two years, he left UBC and enrolled in a comprehensive three-year programme at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. Ross then went to law school in Toronto and spent 35 years as a civil litigator in Metro Vancouver before retiring in 2016.
As seen on a recent article on Hindustan Times, 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.
Ross first enrolled at UBC in 1969 with the intention of pursuing a degree in English. However, during his second year, he discovered his passion for the theatre and spent an increasing amount of time in the theatre department. He participated in productions and enrolled in courses that fuelled his aspiration of becoming an actor.
“I was besotted with theatre at the time. It was alive then, with a sense of vitality and newness. It seemed just electric to me,” Ross remembers. In the department, he would cross paths with renowned Canadian actors such as Nicola Cavendish, Larry Lillo, Brent Carver, and Ruth Nichol, inspiring him further to pursue theatre.
After studying at UBC for two years, Ross made the decision to leave the university and 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.
“I liked it too much. It wasn’t going to be healthy for me. I knew I was a good actor but I always thought you had to be great.”
So he did what any aspiring actor who feels they may be outclassed would do in 1975. Ross took his three years of academic work at UBC and went to law school in Toronto, graduated and spent 35 years as a civil litigator in Metro Vancouver before retiring in 2016.
In November 2016, Ross reached out to UBC and initiated a fresh chapter in his educational journey. He re-enrolled in the university and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree, 54 years after he first enrolled.
“The headline on your story should be ‘UBC finally graduates its slowest student,’” the 71-year-old told UBC with an easy laugh. Ross credits his desire for learning as the inspiration that drove him to finish his degree after all these years.
Ross’s story is a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals. His perseverance and dedication to learning are an inspiration to us all. Congratulations, Arthur Ross, on your incredible achievement!