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Woman receives her master's degree from Stanford at the age of 105 in an inspiring feat

Throughout her life she has worked towards the betterment of her city's school system and believed in life-long learning.

Woman receives her master's degree from Stanford at the age of 105 in an inspiring feat
Cover Image Source: YouTube | GMA

Graduation day is usually a moment of great pride and joy for a student; especially if one has waited over 80 years for it to happen. A 105-year-old great-grandma felt this pride and joy when she received her master's degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE). People can not get enough of the marvelous feat she has achieved through sheer determination and belief in her achievements. Virginia "Ginnie" Hislop's journey started at Stanford in the 1940s when she took the required classes, reported Good Morning America.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Emily Ranquist
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Emily Ranquist

However, just when she was about to turn in her master's thesis, World War II broke out, delaying her graduation. The woman had started her bachelor's degree in education at the university in 1936 and completed it in 1940. She planned to teach after completing her master's degree in education, according to a press release by the university. Hislop was inspired by her grandmother, who taught in Kansas before the Civil War and her Aunt Nora, a principal at a school in Los Angeles, as per the statement.

When the war broke out in 1941, her then-boyfriend George Hislop, a GSE student in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), was called to serve during the war. Hence, the couple got married in a hurry and she left campus without her degree. "I thought it was one of the things I could pick up along the way if I needed it and I always enjoyed studying, so that wasn't really a great concern to me — and getting married was," Hislop expressed.


After the war, life happened and Hislop moved to Yakima, Washington, where she raised her two children with her husband, per USA Today. The woman did not let the absence of a degree deter her passion and joined the school board when her daughter Anne was in first grade to help the girl take an advanced English class instead of a home economics course. "I felt that all the kids should have an opportunity to develop their potential as best they could and that everybody should have a crack at higher education if they wanted," the 105-year-old pointed out.


She worked around several school boards, eventually becoming the founding member of the board of directors for Yakima Community College. "I think I did good things for our local school system and I helped broaden it out," Hislop said as per Stanford. The woman now enjoys taking care of her garden, reading and spending time with her four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. "A fierce advocate for equity and the opportunity to learn... today we are proud to confer the master of arts in education to our 105-year-old graduate," GSE Dean Daniel Schwartz said, describing Hislop during the ceremony. 


"The biggest lesson I've taken from her is that you never really stop learning. She's a voracious reader and at 105, she's still actively moving and shaking. No moss grows under her feet," Doug Jensen, Hislop's son-in-law, told Stanford. The woman received a massive round of applause as she collected her degree from everyone present at the ceremony. "For me, this degree is an appreciation of the many years I've put in working for the schools in the Yakima area and on different boards," Hislop shared. "My goodness, I've waited a long time for this," she added.

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