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  Friday, June 12, 2009

  Oldest college graduate-world record set by Chao Mu-he

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chao Mu-he, 96, better known to his classmates at Nanhua University in southern Taiwan as "Grandpa Chao," will receive this weekend his master's degree in philosophy-setting the new world record for the Oldest college graduate.

   Photo: Taiwanese Chao Mu-he, 96, poses in his cap and gown as he prepares to receive his Masters Degree in philosophy this weekend in Nanhua, southern Taiwan. / AP photo (enlarge photo)

   Chao Mu-he said he began graduate school after being told he was too old to continue as a volunteer at a local hospital. "I was bored after I left the hospital," Chao said Thursday. "I don't play mahjong or have other hobbies. I felt I had to do something with my life."

  The previous world record for the Oldest college graduate was set by 95-year-old Nola Ochs from Kansas, USA.

   Born on July 4, 1912, Chao, who has mastered the “bird-worm” style of calligraphy, used this as the basis for his research for his degree from Nanhua University’s Graduate Institute of Philosophy in Chiayi County.

  Asked why he decided to pursue a graduate degree so late in life, Chao said he wanted to encourage one of his friend’s sons, who was reluctant to go back to school. Chao said he invited the young man to study with him in graduate school.

  As Chao was living in Kaohsiung, he had to commute to Chia­yi by bus to attend classes, but he was proud to say that in his two years of study, he had never missed a class.

   Physically, Chao appears to be in good shape and moves around unassisted. Asked about the secret to his health, he said there was none, but added that he never quarrels with anyone.

   Chen Teh-ho, Chao’s thesis adviser, described his student as diligent with a sense of humor. Chen said he was impressed by Chao’s desire to acquire knowledge. Chao is the best example of the saying a person is “never too old to learn,” Chen said.

  Related world records:
  Longest career as a weather forecaster-Dave Devall sets world record

   Youngest college professor-world record set by Alia Sabur

  Oldest Everest climber-world record set by Min Bahadur Sherchan

  Oldest competing bodybuilder-world record set by Ray Moon

   Oldest still performing showgirl-Dorothy Dale Kloss sets world record

  Oldest woman paraglider-world record set by Peggy McAlpine

Friday, June 12, 2009




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