Jessie Rose White technically graduated from Beal College in Bangor, Maine in 1939, but a $US5.00 fee she couldn’t afford at the time ultimately prevented her from receiving her diploma.
75 years later, the 99-year-old mother and grandmother was finally awarded her diploma in a ceremony at her alma mater. She received degrees in stenography and bookkeeping.
“I’m delighted!” White told WGHP Fox on Monday.“I didn’t have the money to pay for the diploma, so I didn’t get it.”
White had put herself through college with a $US500 grant from an uncle, who specifically told her the money was for education only. Once she finished her courses, she was fresh out, and couldn’t pay the extra $US5.
A friend of White’s got in touch with Beal College President Allen Stehle, who loved the story so much, he paid the $US5 debt himself and organised a special graduation ceremony just for White.
He presented the diploma to the graduate, as well as a receipt to show that it had been paid for, a detail that both he and White found very funny.
Young at heart, White says she’s always loved learning and tells WGHP she’d love to go back to college one day. But she’s not on Facebook, she explains to cameramen with a twinkle in her eye.
No hard feelings about the long wait, either, WGHP Fox reports.
“I’m glad I had to wait 75 years, because it was more fun than it would have been in the first place,” White said.
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