STUDENTS
14/07/2012 17:52 BST

Roger Roberts Dead: 82-Year-Old Student Dies Just Days After Being Awarded Degree From Aberystwyth

An octogenarian who battled ill health to finish a demanding degree course has died within days of his landmark graduation.

A smiling Roger Roberts, 82, was awarded a degree in economic and social studies and international politics last week.

His grieving widow claimed today his success finally allowed him to "relax and let go" after four years of demanding study.

roger roberts dead

Roger Roberts was awarded a degree in economic and social studies

Mr Roberts was the centre of attention during an official graduation ceremony at Aberystwyth University in west Wales last week.

Dressed in traditional cape and mortar board hat he was hailed by university chiefs for the inspirational example he set others.

The elderly scholar, who was a chronic asthma sufferer, took longer to finish his degree as a result of his condition.

He was already no stranger to the university, having successfully graduated with a degree in American studies in 2005.

On the eve of the ceremony last week the retired health service worker spoke of his excitement at taking part in it.

He still worked part-time until 2001 then turned his attention to study, taking full advantage of the university where he lived.

Professor Michael Foley, head of the university's international politics department, praised the effort of his oldest student last week.

He pointed out that at 82 he was only a decade younger that the department itself.

"His graduation this year is an achievement that has earned him great respect and the admiration of everyone within the department," he said.

"It also shows that age need not confine personal ambition and that it is never too late to strike out in new directions."

Now it has emerged Mr Roberts died at Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, on Friday morning, just two days after attending the ceremony.

Rita Roberts, his widow, said she felt her husband had simply "let go" after achieving his degree success.

"He was so happy to have finished his degree, and was enjoying all the attention he was getting, the stories in the newspapers," she told the Western Mail.

"I think in the end he was just able to finally relax and let go."