85-year-old looks to future as he becomes oldest graduate of school at prestigious uni

Matthew Lynas, centre, with Dr David Kaufman, left, and Professor Ewen Cameron.

An 85-year-old from the North-east has become the oldest graduate from a prestigious university’s history school.

Matthew Lynas, of Aberdeenshire, received his degree from the school of History, classics and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and became the oldest person to ever graduate from that school.

The pensioner celebrated at his ceremony after completing an online history masters where he was awarded a distinction.

As well as picking up a history degree, Matthew already has a PhD in non-metallic materials, a history PhD and a postgraduate certificate in global development.

Matthew said it is not his intention to collect qualifications, however, he continues to pursue academic study because it reinforces a feeling of intellectual vitality.

He added: “To me it is a continuous search for finding out how much I have to learn, in the knowledge that the task is unending.

“It teaches one humility and is essentially a therapeutic process.

“My involvement with Edinburgh and the feeling of engagement with academics and administrative staff has been a transformation and the feeling that one is a valued member of a community – it is an institution one feels proud to be a part of.”

Matthew left school at the age of 16 to practice agriculture and estate management, working in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.

After returning to the UK, he went on to pursue a career in training and education within the ceramic, glass and mineral industry, before returning to education upon his retirement.

Following his latest achievement, the history graduate’s enthusiasm has not faded. He is discussing future projects with Edinburgh academics Professor Ewen Cameron and Dr David Kaufman.