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Life-long learner earns degree from SFU archaeology

October 06, 2021

At 73, Terry McLean returned to university to finish his Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology at SFU. This fall he is graduating alongside his classmates and will leave behind a new method to capture and document archaeological artifacts that he developed during his time at SFU.

Terry has always been interested in learning as a way to advance his career and had completed an associate of arts degree and two diplomas before deciding to come back for his BA.

“I decided to return to university to complete a BA degree which I began some 55 years ago… My goal was to get a BA as a life milestone,” says Terry. 

Once enrolled at SFU, Terry took advantage of experiential learning opportunities within the department and participated in the 2019 K’omoksl field school. This field school allowed students to work with their peers and apply classroom knowledge to an archaeological dig.

“We got our hands dirty doing actual archaeological field work, discovering artifacts, and got to share experiences with the other students,” says Terry. “I was able to establish relationships within the department which greatly enriched my SFU experience.”

Following the field school, Terry took part in further research on the discovered artifacts, which included multiple incised pebbles. The result of the project was a new method to capture and document artifacts using advanced imaging methodologies. Terry developed a photographic survey of the collection by photographing artifacts at 360-degree angles, with an apparatus he had built himself.

Having achieved his goal of earning his degree, Terry is looking forward to pursuing his other passions. Specifically, he is excited to spend more time playing his French horn within the three musical groups he belongs to. 

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