16 July 2002
Mark Daniel, 76, finds a new route to success
Mark Daniel, 76, will graduate this week with a degree in English Language from the University of Sussex - another achievement in a colourful life.
"My fellow students accepted me completely," says Mark. "I was able to completely forget the age difference between us."
After WWII, Mark began studying for a degree in civil engineering. "Unfortunately I lost a whole term due to a badly injured ankle bone, so I was forced to abandon my studies," he says.
Despite this setback, he travelled the world in his career as a road engineer, finding new routes through inaccessible places such as Tanzania, Borneo and Nigeria.
"In the mid 1960s I was in Tanzania trying to find a way across a mountain range, and eventually a very old African man showed me an old elephant crossing which I was able to use." Mark also tells the tale of the friendly welcome he received from the head-hunters of Borneo, who put him up in their long-house.
Upon his recent return to studying, Mark took a detour away from engineering. "I've always been interested in writing - I only really became an engineer due to circumstances at the time," says Mark.
For his degree dissertation - for which he was awarded a mark of 82% - Mark studied how the English lanaguage reasserted itself after the Norman conquest. Mark has also acquired new study skills during his degree. "All my life I thought everyone read at the speed they speak," he explains. "My degree involved a lot of reading, so I learned to speed read."
Mark will receive his upper second class degree at a ceremony at The Dome in Brighton on Friday 19 July at 3pm.
Notes for editors
You are invited to send a photographer and/or a reporter to the graduation ceremony on Friday 19 July at which Mark Daniel will receive his degree.
For further information, please contact Peter Simmons or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email P.J.Simmons@sussex.ac.uk or A.Field@sussex.ac.uk.
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