21/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 05:05

Roger Roberts, 82, dies days after Aberystwyth graduation

Category: Wales

Published: 14th Jul 2012 10:18:53

One of the oldest people to graduate from Aberystwyth University has died just three days after picking up his degree.

Roger Roberts, 82, from Aberystwyth, graduated in economic and social studies in international politics on Tuesday.

It is understood that Mr Roberts died on Friday morning, and had been unwell during his studies.

Prof Michael Foley said Mr Roberts "warmed hearts and raised spirits".

On the day of his graduation ceremony, the university released a statement about the mature student's achievement.

It said Mr Roberts had taken longer to complete his degree because he was ill for the last couple of years of his course.

He impressed his peers and teachers with a combination of fierce determination mixed with a sparkling sense of mischief”

In the statement, Mr Roberts, who suffered from chronic asthma, said he had "thoroughly enjoyed" his time at the university.

Mr Roberts spent his career in the health service, and Tuesday's graduation was his second degree after reading American studies in 2005.

Prof Michael Foley, the head of the university's international politics department, said Mr Roberts "warmed hearts and raised spirits".

He added: "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's vice-chancellor Prof April McMahon 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."

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BBC News, 2012. Roger Roberts, 82, dies days after Aberystwyth graduation [Online] (Updated 14th Jul 2012)
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