On March 17th 2017, former school teacher Betty celebrated her 101st birthday. When she turned 100 years old, she admitted that her main regret was not having the chance to obtain a university degree. When she completed her training in 1937 at Southlands College in Wimbledon, the onset of WW2 had thwarted her plans to do so.
Betty’s teaching career then began in Liverpool’s Upper Park Street School from which she took wartime evacuees to Sandbach, this is where she met her husband Charles and they later started a family together. She continued to pursue a highly successful career in teaching biology and giving careers advice, culminating in her post as one of the Senior Teachers and Head of Careers at Wilmslow Girls Grammar School, from which she retired in 1976.
Southlands College and others combined to form the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education in 1975, which in turn became the University of Roehampton, London in 2004.
In late January 2017, the University offered former students who had been awarded a Certificate in Education before 1980 the opportunity to be awarded an Honorary Bachelor of Education “in recognition of the work required to obtain this certificate [in Education] and subsequent services to education.”
Betty was finally able to achieve her wish and was delighted to be awarded the degree. Being unable to attend the Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary Degrees at the Royal Festival Hall in London this coming May, arrangements were made for her to be presented with the degree certificate on her 101st birthday at Meadway Court in Bramhall, owned by Borough Care
The care home’s staff even arranged a special birthday cake for her to celebrate her latest academic achievement as well as the first year of her second century.