19th July 2002




Former nun Lettra Auckland changed her life completely when she took up the tuba and started a degree at the University of Lincoln. 


The 56-year-old mother of two became a nun at the age of 16 but left the order eight years later when she realised it wasn’t the life for her.


Now she’s about to graduate with a degree in Social Policy from the University of Lincoln and she’s weighing up her career options with new confidence.


“My whole life has changed now - I’ve got a different attitude to myself,” says Lettra, of Shakespeare Street, Lincoln. “I should have done it a lot younger but my commitments and finances didn’t allow it.


“I may train to be a school teacher but I also want to do an MPhil in Citizenship – eventually I’d like to get my PhD and work as a lecturer.


Joining the Lincoln Beevor Band four years ago and learning to play the tuba gave Lettra the confidence to return to study as a mature student.


“I applied for a course at Newark and Sherwood College and then had a bit more confidence to be able to approach the university,” she says.


“I can’t tell you how I feel – it’s a mixture of pride and elation and an increase in self-confidence, which is great. But I couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support of my husband, who’s been absolutely brilliant, my two grown-up sons and my parents.”


Lettra says she’s had to tighten her belt financially, but she urges others who are considering returning to education not to be put off by the cost.


“Financially it’s been a struggle, but while money is a problem but it should never become a barrier to learning.


“I found the lecturers at the university to be wonderful - very supportive from the beginning – and it’s been a terrific experience.”


Lettra will graduate on Thursday 25th July at 11.30am at Lincoln Cathedral.


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)     email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk