Man gets degree at age 95 to keep busy after death of his wife of 65 years

Dr David Marjot first trained as a doctor way back in 1952 but the nonagenarian is keeping his brain sharp by becoming the oldest person to ever graduate from Kingston University

A man of 95 has broken a university’s record for being the oldest person to graduate from Kingston University.

Dr David Marjot beat the previous mark of 93 years old, set in 1994. He received a standing ovation from his peers and the audience as he crossed the stage at the graduation ceremony.
Dr Marjot, who has gained a masters degree in modern European philosophy, said: “It was hard work. My memory is not quite what it used to be but I was lucky to have world-class teachers and it was a very positive experience. I think it is important to always keep challenging yourself even as you get older.”

He took the course to keep his mind occupied after the death of his wife following 65 years of marriage. Dr Marjot is now contemplating signing up for a part-time doctorate which he would finish at the age of 102.
The retired psychiatrist, who wanted to understand more about philosophy, said: “I knew I was limited on time, so when I saw an advert for a course that was local to me, I decided to apply.

“The staff and students were so accommodating to me. It has been a wonderful course... so it’s been an honour to do this degree and be a part of such a fantastic university.”

Dr Marjot, who qualified as a doctor in 1952, said about entering education after decades away: “It’s a bit of a gamble, but if you’re interested then go for it.”

Professor Stella Sandford, one of those who taught the course at Kingston University in South West London, said: “David came [here] having already had an illustrious career and he brought a wealth of knowledge and experience with him into class discussions.

“He once told the class about his childhood experience of Empire Day 1938 and compared it to Remembrance Sunday 2022. He was able to connect all that up to what we were studying. It was an amazing and very moving contribution to the class.”

Dr Marjot, who lives in Surrey, was joined by his son and son-in-law at the graduation ceremony at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

Dr Marjot is not quite Britain’s oldest graduate. That record is held by Archie White who was 96 when he graduated from the University of Brighton in 2021.

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