A FORMER Coonabarabran dentist and law graduate from the University of New England became the world’s oldest university graduate yesterday, more than seven decades after attaining his first degree.
Ninety-seven-year-old Allan Stewart became the world’s oldest graduate when he earned a law degree from Armidale’s University of New England aged 91.
He surpassed his own record yesterday when he graduated with a master’s degree of clinical science (complementary medicine) from Southern Cross University in Lismore.
Mr Stewart, a former career dentist now living at Port Stephens, said that at 97 years and 58 days, his fourth university degree may be his last.
“I can hang up my mortar board and academic robes after this one – although I said that after my last degree and then I got bored,” he said in a statement.
“I have so much time on my hands these days and I like to keep mentally active.”
The Sydney-born great-grandfather attained his first degree in 1936, when he graduated with a bachelor of dentistry with honours from the University of Sydney.
He later completed a doctor of dental surgery degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, and practised as a dentist in London, Sydney and Coonabarabran.
Mr Stewart set a Guinness World Record at age 91 when he completed his law degree.
He said fitness and having a focus in life was a key to his longevity.
“People should never use the excuse that ‘I am too old to study’ or ‘I have left my run too late’,” he said.
“It is never too late to expand your mind, make new friends and challenge yourself to achieve something worthwhile.”
Dr Sonya Brownie, one of Mr Stewart’s supervisors at Southern Cross University, said she was impressed by his commitment and enthusiasm.
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