He retired at the age of 92, but the British Archie White soon realized that he was not made for doing nothing. So he started studying.
It’s not that Archie White from Strand Quay, England, had twiddled his thumbs up to now. The 96-year-old studied law as a young man and worked as a lawyer in his own law firm until he was 92 – then he retired. But clearly relaxing and doing nothing was not his thing. Since he was always interested in art, he started painting.
What was just a hobby quickly turned into a real enthusiasm – and the Brit wanted to learn more about art and painting. And as if by a wink of fate, an acquaintance mentioned that he had just started a second degree. White decided to do the same. Despite his old age, he enrolled at East Sussex College in Hastings to study fine arts.
Archie White didn’t want to be idle
He studied at the university for almost three years. Archie White learned pottery, analog photography and the use of the graphics program Photoshop. Notable for someone who was born when King George V was still on the throne in England – the Queen’s grandfather. At first, the British art enthusiast had no intention of completing his studies with a degree; he was more interested in his personal interest in the subject. But then ambition seized him.
At the age of 96 years and 56 days, he finally submitted his project for the final exam. This makes him the oldest Briton who ever completed a degree – and the second oldest university graduate in the world. Only the Japanese Shigemi Hirata was older, at 96 years and 200 days.
He wants to support art students financially
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Archie White revealed: ‘It means nothing to me to be the oldest graduate. I just enjoyed studying this subject. I absolutely enjoyed it and had fascinating experiences. Just learning Photoshop was a little difficult for me. ‘ He definitely wants to keep painting. And he has planned something else.
‘I’ve had a long and fulfilling career myself, but what makes me sad is that many graduates will inevitably struggle to make ends meet as artists, potters, photographers or sculptors. That’s why I want to set up a foundation that helps such graduates, ‘says the 96-year-old.
You can also understand why he is so popular with his fellow students and lecturers. Head of Department, Hannah Birkett, says, ‘It’s been a pleasure teaching Archie for the past three years. He made a unique contribution to the course and his personal development has been exceptional. We all enjoyed working with him and we wish him all the best for the future! ‘
Those: ‘Daily Mail’