University of Manchester Graduate Finally Receives Certificate… 80 Years Later!


Over eighty years after graduating, it proved to be a very special 101st birthday for a certain alumni member of the University of Manchester. Catherine Palmer (formerly Bolton), has been celebrating her 101st birthday. While this is an incredible age to reach and certainly cause for celebration – Palmer was also handed her graduation certificate – after graduating in 1938. Palmer was given the surprise from her daughter, and was understandably delighted to receive the certificate. Read on for the full story.


Catherine Palmer was born in 1917, and arrived at the University of Manchester in 1935, where she studied English. She lived in the Fallowfield area of Manchester, and lived in Ashburne Hall. During her time at the University, she engaged in several activities – singing in the choir, representing the University in both athletics and fencing, and even developed a proclivity for climbing in the Lake District. She reportedly continued her affinity with climbing long after leaving the University.




Following three years of hard work, Palmer completed her degree in 1938. She impressively achieved a First Class degree, and attended her graduation ceremony to celebrate. However, she didn’t receive her certificate on the day, and it never reached her, after she moved to Scotland. During the Second World War, Palmer went on several placements at hospitals in the United Kingdom. After the War, she started teaching English, and developed a close bond with her students – many of which came from other countries to study.


A great moment for Catherine Palmer!


She would eventually retire from teaching, having helped a number of students. She had three children. She has since seen her family size swell – she has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren! Despite being over the grand age of 100, she still walks her dog every day. Her daughter surprised her Mum on her 101st birthday with the certificate. Palmer has placed the certificate next to her centenary card from the Queen – showing the pride she feels over her achievement!




Commenting, Professor Peter Knight – who is the Head of English, American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester – stated he was ‘delighted’ that Catherine has finally received her degree certificate. A great story – and it is pleasing to see that Catherine received her certificate – better late than never.





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