Age is just a number: 90-year-old graduate student successfully defends his thesis

Posted on Friday, September 21, 2018

Faculty of Law graduate student Clifford Lincoln successfully defended his Master of Laws thesis on September 14, 2018, a mere 13 days removed from his 90th birthday! Mr. Lincoln, born September 1, 1928, gave an oral defence of his thesis: “Sustainable Indigenous Land Management in Canada - A Model Inspired by Lessons from Barriere Lake and Haida Gwaii”.

He is one of the oldest students to successfully complete his studies at the University of Ottawa.

Mr. Lincoln, who had a long career as an insurance company executive, also served as a member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Nelligan from 1981-1989, and later as a federal Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis from 1993-2004. He served as Minister of the Environment at both the provincial and federal levels.

“I’ve always had a passion for continuing my education, but my lengthy career in politics prevented me from pursuing it earlier,” said Mr. Lincoln. “I had developed an idea for my thesis some time ago, and I wanted to pursue it and see it through before I wasn’t able to anymore!”

When asked if he had any advice for future students who might be considering graduate or post-secondary studies, he offered: “Education is the key to everything. I have always told my children that learning never stops; we can never have enough knowledge. I believe that everyone who has the ability to pursue their studies should do so.”

Professor Jamie Benidickson, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, and Professor Sophie Thériault, Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section served as thesis directors. The evaluation committee was comprised of professors Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and Nathalie Chalifour of the Common Law Section, and Professor Kyle Kirkup, Common Law Section, chaired the defence.

Congratulations to Mr. Lincoln on his achievement!


From left: Professor Sophie Thériault, Professor Nathalie Chalifour, Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Professor Kyle Kirkup, Clifford Lincoln and Professor Jamie Benidickson.

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