Cambridge law graduate aged 102 bags masters 85 years later

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

Former City lawyer glad to finally “complete CV”


A former Cambridge law student can now officially use the title ‘Master of Arts’, 85 years after commencing his undergraduate degree.

Brian Lowe, aged 102 and a former City solicitor, enrolled at Cambridge’s Trinity College in 1931. Opting to study law, Lowe was entitled, like all Cambridge graduates, to apply for the ceremonial MA title having held his BA Cantab Law for a period of more than two years and being over the age of 24.

Working for the same firm until 1939, Lowe took a break from law when he was called up to serve with the Royal Navy, a post he held until 1946. Joining a law firm in Vancouver, Canada, in 1961, he eventually retired in 1975.

The honorary title will now allow Lowe — who has since emigrated to New South Wales, Australia, where he lives in a care home — to become a member of the Cambridge University Senate. This means that he can cast a vote in chancellor elections.

However, Lowe is clearly a busy man. It has taken the former lawyer a whopping 85 years to get around to applying for his masters title.

Lowe — who began life as a lawyer in 1937, just seven years after magic circle outfit Allen & Overy was founded — spent student life residing at Trinity’s architecturally stunning Great Court. He is now the oldest person to obtain a masters from the elite university.

Speaking to local newspaper the Cambridge News, Lowe — whose extra curricular pursuits as a young law student included hockey and er… learning to fly at the university air squadron — said:

I had been thinking of applying to be awarded an MA for some years but never got round to it. However, now that I am 102 I would very much appreciate having an MA to complete my CV.

A spokeswoman for Trinity College said:

We were delighted to hear from Mr Lowe and were happy to arrange to have his certificate sent out to him. We’ve checked the university registry for anyone older, and we think he’s the oldest student to ever have their degree conferred.

Get that LinkedIn profile updated, Brian!