Age is just a number: UKZN's oldest graduate coins her PhD at 71

Age is just a number: UKZN's oldest graduate coins her PhD at 71

Bagging her PhD was just another step forward for 71 year old American born psychologist Dr Elizabeth Martiny.

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Her dream of helping the physically disabled overcome negative stereotypes is becoming a reality.

Dr Elizabeth Martiny has gained the title of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s oldest graduate this year, however, she is still young at heart.

Graduating with her PhD in Religion and Theology is a huge achievement, let alone doing it at the ripe age of 71.

Martiny was born in New York and moved to South Africa in 1995 to study Carl Jung psychology with a group of South Africans.

“I only meant to stay for five years, but here we are! South Africa is one of my own.”

READ ALSO: Inspiring: Mpho Tshivhase becomes SA's first black woman to earn PhD in Philosophy

Now she runs a private psychology practice in Johannesburg. She contracted polio as her child and is physically disabled, which lead to her dream of helping others with disabilities.

Martiny’s PhD research explored the challenges of physically disabled women from the perspectives of theology and analytical psychology and also looked into the investigation of the images of God.

She is a true inspiration to all and has defeated the stigma of age and disability.

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