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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