U.S. News


Woman Receives Degree 75 Years After Finishing College

99-year-old Jessie White received her degree 75 years after a $5 transcript fee kept her from making her graduation official.
Posted at 7:32 PM, May 25, 2014

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

JESSIE WHITE: "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. (Via WVII)

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. (Via ABC)

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

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.

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