Kathy Brennan
Kathy Brennan
7 December 2010

It’s said all good things come to those who wait and this has never been truer than for St Lucia’s Kathy Brennan whose UQ degree has been 48 years in the making.

Mrs Brennan, 67, who will receive her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in French at an 11am ceremony on Monday, December 13, began her degree in 1962 after her family briefly moved to Brisbane from Arizona in the United States.

She will be one of more than 6400 graduands receiving their degrees at 18 UQ graduation ceremonies to be held between Friday, December 10, and Saturday, December 18, this year. These will be the final graduations in the year the University celebrated its Centenary.

Mrs Brennan’s father had come to Australia to study towards his doctorate in comparative education.

"I was already halfway through my degree at the University of Arizona and decided to take some courses at The University of Queensland," Mrs Brennan said.

While travelling throughout Queensland with her family, Mrs Brennan met her future husband, Ron, on Magnetic Island, and they married in the US in 1965.

A Samford hobby farm, four children and six grandchildren later, she was still trying to get her degree finished and said she can't quite believe it has finally happened.

"I just want to hang it up on the wall," she said with a tear in her eye.

Naturally, Mrs Brennan said she has seen many staff come and go at the University's School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, which she says has become a kind of second home for her.

"They are a very professional, caring and supportive group there, as is my husband," she said.

"Studying has become a part of my identity. I love the library and being among young and older students."

She said she found it interesting that her French studies had started with classic (1600s–1700s) French playwrights such as Racine, Moliere and Corneille and had concluded with a study of Marivaux, another playwright of the classical period.

"French has always been my passion – the culture, the politics and the country itself," she said. "The beauty of the language and the literature just keeps me going."

Mrs Brennan has travelled to France many times and said her children had clubbed together to organise a trip to Paris for her next May by way of a graduation present.
Media: Shirley Glaister at UQ Communications (07 3365 2802).