Prof gets his 18th degree

2015-05-15 18:08
(File: UFS)

(File: UFS)

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Bloemfontein - Professor Herman Wessels is living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks - except when it comes to driving.

The remarkable 84-year-old academic received his 18th degree earlier this year when a degree in theology was awarded to him by the University of the Free State.

“I have not started studying again after this. It’s difficult at my age,” he told News24. But his wife, Lucille, says she wouldn't be surprised to see him tackling a new academic challenge at some stage. "He’s a born student," she says.

Ever since they married in 1959, she has shared her husband with books of learning.

“He has also always enjoyed walking. It was his way of relaxing, but apart from that, he was constantly behind the books,” she says.

While Wessels has studied consistently over the years, he has never learnt to drive a car. Lucille is his driver.

“I very much doubt that I would ever have found a husband if I did not have a driver's licence,” she jokes.

The couple met in Pietermaritzburg, where they stayed in the same boarding house. At the time, Wessels was a prosecutor in the high court and she was teaching at Voortrekker Primary School.

Today, Wessels finds it difficult to list all his academic achievements off the cuff, but they include doctorates in Latin and Political Science.

The couple now live in the St George's retirement home in Bedfordview, but were residents of Bloemfontein for more than 40 years.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  education

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