Better late than never: Retired engineer graduates from Salford University – 45 years since completing course

By Adam Ryder

A retired engineer finally attended his graduation ceremony this week – 45 years after completing his course at Salford University.

Ronald Duckling, 67, achieved a 2:1 in chemical engineering but started work for a company abroad before he could collect his degree.

His children, Tomas and Karen, arranged the surprise occasion for his birthday after he revealed his main regret was not being able to officially celebrate his achievement.

Mr Duckling said: “I was moved to tears when I saw what my children had organised.

“It had never occurred to me that this would be possible and I cannot believe my luck.”

Tomas secretly contacted the university and on his birthday presented him with an email which allowed him to graduate with this year’s students.

Mr Duckling added: “I was almost certainly one of the oldest graduates at the ceremony, but I was as proud as any of them.”

His degree allowed him to start work as a process engineer at M W Kellogg and working his way up to Manager of Design Engineering.

He eventually moved into computer engineering and finished his career after 43 years with the same company.

He attended the ceremony with his partner, Sue Feltham, Tomas and Karen and ex wife Diana.

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