105-Year-Old Finally Graduates from Stanford After 83 Years

A 105-year-old woman finally got her master’s degree from Stanford University after more than 80 years.

105 year old stanford graduate

This story reminds us that we are never too old to chase our dreams. Life may throw us unexpected twists, but with perseverance and faith, we can achieve remarkable things.

Virginia “Ginnie” Hislop, from Washington state, received her master’s degree in education from Stanford. She started her bachelor’s degree in 1936 and finished it in 1940. She then began her master’s degree, but World War II interrupted her plans. Her boyfriend, George Hislop, was called to serve in the war, so they got married and moved to Oklahoma.

“My goodness, I’ve waited a long time for this,” Virginia said about her achievement. After the war, she became a mother and worked in education in Oklahoma and Washington. She served on various school and college boards and committees, always valuing education.

Virginia’s dedication to education was evident even in her personal life. When one of her children was in first grade, she fought for her daughter to take advanced English instead of home economics. “I felt that she could learn to cook at home, and it was more important that she learn more academic skills at school,” Virginia recalled.

Virginia’s family never forgot her unfinished degree. Her son-in-law found out that Stanford had changed its degree requirements, meaning Virginia had enough credits to get her master’s degree. This enabled Virginia to return to Stanford University after 83 years to finally receive her degree.

On June 16, 2024, Virginia walked across the stage at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education to receive her Master of Arts in Education.

The audience stood and applauded the elderly graduate who had waited over 8 decades for this moment.

In a video interview with Good Morning America, Virginia said, “False modesty has never been one of my problems. I felt I deserved it, and I was delighted to get it.”

We can see God’s hand in Virginia’s journey. Her story shows that God has a plan for each of us, even if it takes time to unfold. With faith and perseverance, we can reach our goals. This story encourages us to trust God’s timing and stay committed, knowing He will guide us.

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