Meeting the Challenge
Brian Lewis took early retirement and decided to keep his mind active by taking
a full-time undergraduate degree he knew it would be a challenge – and it was.
he also found it immensely rewarding, and three years later is about to graduate
with a first class degree in Archaeology from the University of Leicester.
left school just before he was sixteen, having achieved half a dozen GCE O
Levels. For most of his working life he was with the Nat West Bank, until he
took early retirement four years ago.
explained: “Before I left the bank I had started a certificate course in
archaeology at Vaughan College, one night a week. On the strength of that I got
a place on the BA Archaeology course at the University.
chose Archaeology because I’d always been interested in things historical, and
I heard about the course from a friend. Knowing I was coming up for early
retirement I wanted something to keep the brain cells working and which would
provide an opportunity to do something completely different.
education after years of employment was strange at first.
“It was a bit like the mental equivalent of doing violent physical
exercise for the first time in years,” he said.
He has no regrets:
“quite apart from getting the degree it’s opened up a whole new
met a lot of interesting people both in University and outside and I have taken
part in some interesting excavations. The academic staff have been brilliant and
provided tremendous support.
The student mix was good, I thought there would be very few mature
students on the course and wondered how the younger students would react to us.
I think they thought we were a strange breed at first, then after a short
while you just became another student and we all worked together very well.
been great. I would recommend anyone facing early retirement to consider a
Brian Lewis has acquired a taste for higher education, in September he is about
to start a Masters degree in Landscape Studies at the University of Leicester.
of the age I am it’s unlikely I will follow a paid career path in archaeology,
so I would like to concentrate on the research side and see how far I can
Brian Lewis will receive the degree of BA (Hons) Archaeology, on Friday
12 July at 3 pm at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester.
information is available through the University of Leicester Press Office,
telephone 0116 252 2415, facsimile 0116 252 2485, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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