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Woman receives degree 75 years after finishing college

Woman Receives Degree 75 Years After Finishing College

A woman in Maine is finally getting her college degree - three-quarters of a century after taking her last course.

"This means that my life is complete."

Jessie White is 99 years old and, officially, a new graduate of Beal College in Maine. She received her degree last week.

WVII in Bangor, Maine spoke with White at a special ceremony hosted by Beal's president. She completed her courses in 1939, 75 years ago, but a $5 transcript fee barred her from receiving her degree, ABC shows.

White recently mentioned that fact to a friend, who then called up Beal College's president, Allen Stehle, filmed here by WABI. He paid White's transcript fee herself and helped set up last week's ceremony.

White said she faced an uphill battle after having been diagnosed with polio as a young woman, but she got a job as a bookkeeper, which she held for many years. At her ceremony last week she had some advice for fellow graduates.

"Never give up learning. Because they say, you know, when you give up learning you grow old."

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lili May 26 2014 at 4:17 AM

A 91 year old woman in Massachusetts just got her high school degree. When it came time to graduate she was told she was missing credits. Turns out it was phys. ed credits. The current administration heard about it 73 years later and decided they would graduate her. And so she went to her high school graduation. 73 years later. And graduated with the 18 year olds. True story. Happened on Saturday

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2 replies
rwilliamhoward lili May 26 2014 at 11:16 AM

Which proves that there is too much emphasis on 'sports' and the like, and not enough on the accademic. No one should be denied a deploma because he/she didn't do enough push-ups. And the FOOTBALL team should not be granted special dispensation because 'It's The Team!' I went toa hogh school where PEP RALLYS were MANDATORY attemdamce. Student patrol 'officers' guarded the doors so NO ONE got out until the thing was over. "T-E-A-M, YAY, TEAM!" Bah, HUMBUG! Missed my bus every time!

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2 replies
philately2012 rwilliamhoward May 26 2014 at 12:16 PM

Thats why there are so many overweight kids in the US today, lack of sports, more TV , texting and video games insted.

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chuckpitboss rwilliamhoward May 26 2014 at 2:10 PM

Education is not just academic. It cover mind and body and body means some kind of physical activity or physical education. When I went to school (both high school and college) physical education classes were a requirement. You didn't have to do so many push ups, sit ups, etc. but you did have to do the exercises in class. In the college I went to you had to compete in team sports as well as exercise classes. The idea is/was if the body is functioning properly the mind will do "its thing) academically speaking. Unless you didn't go to these classes (both high school and college) you always passed the courses. It sounds like to me that you're the poster child for a couch potato!!

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divinesource1 lili May 26 2014 at 8:10 PM

lili,
This goes to prove that we as a nation put more value to disciplines like "Sports" and Entertainment " than our important disciplines such as Medical Field and Scientific explorations and discoveries or "Scientific R & R ". Basket Ball and Foot Ball along with entertainments will pay better, so why should our high school graduates strive to learn Maths and Science? Can we really blame them? We live in a money driven oriented society.

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Lucille May 26 2014 at 12:55 AM

Many years ago, I was asked what I liked best about teaching. I simply said that teaching students to think is a continual process and basically, leearning from them as they learned from me, kept me young. I am still at it after 40 plus years in the field of education. Bravo to this lady - learning is the essence of life - and she is a true symbol of how learning kept her young!! Kudos and congratulations on finally getting that degree..

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1 reply
nikkitytom Lucille May 26 2014 at 2:07 AM

A few years ago I was asked what my proudest accomplishment was. I've had a colorful life to say the least, so I wanted a couple of days to think it over. And the answer surprised me when I nailed it down. And it opened my mind and influenced everything I've done since.

It was teaching. Hands down. Because instilling the love of learning in a student, gives them a gift they'll be able to celebrate all their lives. Even today the prospect of learning something new gets me all excited.

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Gail and Dee May 25 2014 at 9:30 PM

YEAH! Glad that she finally received her degree.

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a4larrya May 26 2014 at 12:27 AM

The BEST!!!

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Dina May 26 2014 at 12:55 AM

go girl

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gdl4974 May 26 2014 at 1:33 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!! JESSIE WHITE!!! THAT MEANS ANOTHER 75 YEARS TO PRACTICE WORKING WITH YOUR DEGREE! AGE IS ONLY A NUMBER!! WHEN IS OUR TIME TO GO!! THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT!! CELEBRATE!! YOU GO GIRL!!

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Steve Hering May 25 2014 at 11:39 PM

$5.00 75 years ago was a heck of alot of money. I like this lady and hope she goes on to use her new degree for a good number of years to come.
Have a Great day.

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1 reply
tcbrockin Steve Hering May 26 2014 at 10:56 AM

Yes Steve, $5.00 was ALOT of money back then!

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Mike May 26 2014 at 6:32 AM

It's all about the money.

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1 reply
fwlrcj Mike May 26 2014 at 10:48 AM

What money?

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1 reply
hellyon3too fwlrcj May 26 2014 at 10:52 AM

The transcript fee she couldn't pay. Didn't you read the story?

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doc22b1 May 26 2014 at 2:46 AM

She is my hero...

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1 reply
grgblnk1 doc22b1 May 26 2014 at 11:57 AM

Takes a lot more than that to make a hero--think about what today is

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kbroom1969 May 26 2014 at 7:19 AM

good for her.....

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