A 101-Year-Old Manchester Uni Graduate Has Received Her Certificate 80 Years Later

A University of Manchester graduate who completed her degree in 1938 was surprised with her certificate at her 101st birthday party.

by University of Manchester
Catherine Palmer (née Bolton) was born in Southport in 1917, and came to Victoria University of Manchester in 1935 to study English where she lived in Ashburne Hall in Fallowfield.

Mrs Palmer achieved a first class degree, and although she attended her graduation ceremony she didn’t receive a certificate at the time and moved to Glasgow soon after before going on to wartime placements at hospitals in London.

After the war, she began teaching English, firstly at the NW Polytechnic in London (now the University of North London), and then in grammar schools.

Mrs Palmer had a long and accomplished teaching career as well as three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She continued to be very active in later life, even embarking on a trekking and white water rafting adventure in the Himalayas at the age of 75, and still walks her dog every day and live independently.

by University of Manchester
Mrs Palmer’s daughter Alison said: “We had a great birthday with Mum, and she was delighted to finally get her certificate, which has now taken pride of place next to her card from the queen.

“I had so often heard her talk about her days at university as special and very happy times, and then she’d mention the lack of evidence of her achievements there.

“It felt important to try to give her the acknowledgment of those days, and contacting staff at Manchester has enabled a sense of completion and celebration to finally happen!”

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