At 87, woman becomes oldest to receive a master’s degree from York University

She’s a mom of 4, grandmother of seven, and now the oldest particular person to obtain a grasp’s diploma from York College.

Varatha Shanmuganathan, 87, acquired her masters of arts from the Ontario college on Tuesday afternoon in a digital convocation because of the pandemic.

“I’m humble and proud,” she instructed CTV Information.

It’s really Shanmuganathan’s second grasp’s diploma, however though her achievement at this age could appear stunning to some, her household mentioned it’s in keeping with the lady they know.

“We’re very pleased with her,” Priya Merritt, her daughter, instructed CTV information. “However we’re really not stunned. She’s all the time talked about how age is just not a barrier in life, similar to race and gender shouldn’t be.”

Born in Sri Lanka, Shanmuganathan’s love of studying was inspired by her mother and father.

“I used to be the one daughter and there have been three brothers,” she mentioned. “I used to be handled the identical method. They knew I used to be somebody who was studious and wished to study extra.”

She went off college in India, returning to show in Sri Lanka, the place she met her husband, additionally a trainer. The couple quickly left for jobs in Africa and England.

“We’ve got lived in numerous cultures, totally different nations, totally different climates,” she mentioned.

And she or he’s seen the results of conflict in her personal nation, and in Ethiopia when its civil conflict started within the Nineteen Seventies.

“We had been proper there in the midst of it,” she mentioned. “We watched it.”

Shanmuganathan says these experiences, coupled with the teachings of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, led her to pursue her second grasp’s diploma at York. She wrote her analysis paper on the civil conflict in Sri Lanka and the prospect of peace.

“All of us human beings must be handled equally,” she mentioned. “That is the message I wish to give.”

Her subsequent plan is to jot down a guide — proving that age is actually only a quantity.

With recordsdata from Alexandra Mae Jones

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