Tribute to 2012’s oldest graduate

Roger Roberts.

Roger Roberts.

17 July 2012

At the age of 82, the late Roger Roberts graduated this year from Aberystwyth University with a Bachelor of Economic and Social Studies in International Politics.
Roger, who lived in Aberystwyth, graduated on Tuesday 10 July after studying over a four-year period. It took him longer than usual to complete his degree due to suffering from ill health during the last couple of years of study.  This was his second degree – in 2005 he graduated with a BA Hons in American Studies.

Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “We are saddened at the news of Mr Roberts’ passing, and honoured that he chose to make Aberystwyth University part of his very long and full life. Given his frail health it was a great achievement for him to make it to graduation on Tuesday and one which was greatly appreciated by everyone present.”

Professor Michael Foley, Head of the Department of International Politics said: “In my talk to our newly minted graduates on Tuesday afternoon, I mentioned the fact that each one of them had faced their own mountains to climb, and confronted their own personal challenges, in arriving at this point of achievement.  I had Roger particularly in mind.  His climb had been arduous but he had finally reached his chosen summit and the view was all the sweeter for it. 

“Roger had not just secured his degree, he warmed hearts and raised spirits.  He impressed his peers and teachers with a combination of fierce determination mixed with a sparkling sense of mischief.

“He proved decisively that age need be no stranger to success or new experience.  This triumph of the human spirit was reflected in the thunderous applause that greeted his appearance on stage at graduation.  There could no better epitaph to his time here”

The university would like to take the opportunity to wish the late Mr Robert’s family their heartfelt sympathies.