24 July 2008

Graduate picks up degree almost 60 years late

Dr receives his degree from the Chancellor

A medical graduate of the University of Sheffield was finally presented with his degree certificate on Wednesday 23 July, 59 years after completing his studies at the University.

Dr Peter Lee, 82, was unable to attend his own graduation ceremony in 1949 as he was single-handedly running a casualty department at Sheffield’s old Royal Infirmary Hospital. Now, almost 60 years on, Peter joined medical students graduating this year from the University’s Faculty of Medicine.

Dr Lee comes from a long line of medics. Both his father and grandfather qualified as doctors at the University of Sheffield; his grandfather was among the first cohort of medical students to graduate from the University.

After completing his studies, Dr Lee went straight to work as an assistant casualty officer at the old Royal Infirmary and then a house physician at the Royal Hospital. He went on to become a general practitioner and later established his own practice just outside Huddersfield, where he worked until he retired 20 years ago.

Dr Lee, who has a wife, two daughters and two sons, had mentioned to his family that his one regret was being unable to attend his own graduation ceremony. As a surprise, his daughter arranged with the University for her father to attend a ceremony and be presented with his certificate.

Dr Lee, who picked up his degree in front of his proud family, said, “I regretted not having the opportunity to wear my academic robes and pick up my degree certificate in person. Now thanks to my daughter and the University I have been able to experience my graduation day. I would like to thank my family and the University for this remarkable gesture.

“It has been a fantastic day and I am so pleased that I have had the opportunity to graduate.”