Monday, June 20, 2011

Graduate student takes 40 years to earn his Ph.D.

Sometimes I hear people complain about taking seven or eight years out of their lives to go to graduate school.

And then there's this guy.
When he started working toward his Ph.D., Nixon was still in office, the Beatles had only just broken up, Jim Morrison was still alive, and "All in the Family" was the number-one TV program. I think it's good to remember, in this era of instant gratification, that worthwhile goals can take a long (long!) time... I was so surprised by his story that I decided to write something about it. Here's my recent posting:

Earning an advanced degree can seem to take forever.

In the case of one recent UCSC graduate, it almost did.

History of Consciousness Program grad Peter Miller received his Ph.D. last week at the Graduate Division commencement ceremony. It took him 40 years.

"I'm probably the person who has the record of how long it took to complete a doctoral degree (at UCSC)," said Miller, 66, who lined up with a crowd of students, some of them as much as four decades younger than him, last week at the Graduate Division commencement ceremony on the East Field.

Technically speaking, he's been pursuing his UCSC advanced degree in political theory and community technology since 1971. Back in 1975, he wrote his qualifying essay and passed his oral examination. All that remained was to write his dissertation.

Why did it take so long? Read the rest of the story here:

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