Woman Marches 75 Years After Paying $5 Graduation Fee

A Maine woman is finally celebrating her college graduation more than 75 years after she left school.

Jessie White was supposed to graduate from Beal College in Bangor, Maine in 1939, but a $5 transcript fee kept her from receiving her degree.

This week White, 99, was finally given her diploma in a special ceremony hosted by the president of Beal College, Alan Stehle.

"It was wonderful. I had a lot of fun," White told ABC News of the special graduation ceremony. "I didn't think my life was complete without it."

Jessie Jones White, 99, enrolled at Beal College in 1939. Friday, 75 years later, she finally received her diploma. ABC News

White said she told a friend about the fee that kept her from graduating and her friend contacted the college president. After being told about White's problem, Stehle paid her balance and hosted White and her friends at a personal graduation ceremony, where she was finally awarded her degree in stenography and bookkeeping.

White suffered a disability from a polio infection, but the Maine woman persisted until she landed a job and spent many years as a bookkeeper, according to ABC News affiliate WVII-TV in Bangor, Maine.

Born and raised in Maine, White said finally getting her degree made her feel "great."

"Never give up learning, they say when you give up learning you grow old," White told WVII-TV . "So I don't intend to give up learning."

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