89-year-old Dutchman defending doctorate
89-year-old Gerrit Deems will be the oldest Dutchman ever to defend a doctoral thesis. Mr Deems hopes to get his degree at the Radboud University in the eastern city of Nijmegen next month.
The 89-year-old doctoral student studied the life of Father Alphons Ariëns, the priest who founded the Dutch Catholic labour movement. Mr Deems, who took up studying philosophy and theology after retirement, hopes to soon be able to call himself Doctor of theology.
The soon-to-be doctor is not the oldest person ever to write a doctoral thesis. In 2000, a 92-year-old man from Amsterdam wrote a doctoral thesis but fell ill before he could defend it in public, a precondition for obtaining a doctoral degree.
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