99-year-old gets college diploma 75 years later - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

99-year-old gets college diploma 75 years after graduation

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99-year-old woman gets diploma 75 years after she graduated. (Source: WABI/CNN) 99-year-old woman gets diploma 75 years after she graduated. (Source: WABI/CNN)

BELFAST, ME (WABI/CNN) – A 99-year-old Maine woman finally got her college diploma Friday, 75 years after she earned it.

Jesse Rose Jones has never truly stopped learning.

"It was such a good role model for young folks coming through to show the value of education," Beal College President Allen T. Stehel said.

The Belfast, ME 99-year-old graduated from Beal Business College with a degree in stenography and accounting in 1939, but couldn't afford the $5 processing fee, so she never got a diploma.

"That story just touched my heart and I took $5 out of my wallet and I paid the administrative fee for her diploma," Stehel said.

A friend of Jones, Donna Gilbert, heard the story about how Jones had lived with polio and was given money to attend college. Gilbert contacted Beal College to see if they could help.

"It didn't hurt to try," Gilbert said.

Beal not only gave Jones her diploma, but a cap and gown and a graduation party 75 years overdue.

"It's like I'm getting the diploma," Gilbert said.

Jones, who is still young at heart at 99 years old, loves surfing the web and learning new things from Google.

"I say never stop learning because they say you know when we give up learning we grow old, so I don't intend to give up learning," Jones said.

But she does have her limits.

"I'm not on Facebook though. I tried it and I didn't like it," Jones said.

Friends and family came out to support Jones, like she was any other graduate.

"My life if complete," Jones said.

Copyright 2014 WABI via CNN. All rights reserved.

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