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Maine woman, 99, gets degree 75 years late over $5 fee

CONCORD, N.H. — A 99-year-old Maine woman has graduated from college 75 years after a $5 fee kept her from getting her diploma on time.

Beal College in Bangor awarded Jessie White her degree during a special ceremony on Friday hosted by Alan Stehle, the college’s president.

White told ABC News the special ceremony was wonderful and a lot of fun.

White was supposed to graduate in 1939, but couldn’t afford the $5 transcript fee.

A friend who recently learned of her decades-old predicament called Stehle, who paid her balance and set up the ceremony.

White, a Maine native, received her degree in stenography and bookkeeping.

White suffered a disability from a polio infection, but she persisted until she landed a job and worked for years as a bookkeeper.

White said finally getting her degree made her feel “great.”

“Never give up learning. They say when you give up learning you grow old,” she said, according to ABC News. “So I don’t intend to give up learning.”

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