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105-Year-Old Great Grandmother Graduates from Stanford with Master’s Degree

In a heartwarming and historic event, 105-year-old Virginia “Ginnie” Hislop received her Master of Arts in Education from Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) on Sunday, marking the culmination of a journey that began over 80 years ago. This remarkable achievement comes after a lifetime of dedication, resilience, and service.

A Journey Interrupted by War

Ginnie Hislop’s academic journey at Stanford began in the 1940s when she diligently completed all the required coursework for her master’s degree. However, as she was preparing to submit her final thesis, World War II broke out, dramatically altering her plans. Her then-boyfriend, George Hislop, was called to serve in the war, and Ginnie decided to leave school to marry him and support the war effort. This decision led her to put her academic aspirations on hold indefinitely.

A Life of Service and Dedication

After the war, Ginnie Hislop devoted herself to raising her family, which grew to include two children, four grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Despite the demands of family life, she never abandoned her commitment to education and community service. For decades, Ginnie served on school and college boards in Washington State, contributing significantly to the educational landscape in her community.

Completing the Journey

Decades after she first left Stanford, the university dropped its thesis requirement for the master’s program, opening the door for Ginnie to finally complete her degree. With unwavering determination, she returned to Stanford and, on June 16, 2024, proudly walked the stage to accept her diploma from GSE Dean Daniel Schwartz. As she received her diploma, Ginnie’s joy was palpable, and she was heard saying, “My goodness, I’ve waited a long time for this.”

A Celebrated Milestone

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” which aired on Wednesday, Ginnie Hislop expressed her elation at achieving this long-awaited milestone. “False modesty has never been one of my problems,” she remarked with characteristic humor. “I felt I deserved it, and I was delighted to get it.”

Ginnie Hislop’s story is a powerful testament to the enduring value of education and the importance of perseverance. Her journey, interrupted by the demands of a global conflict and the responsibilities of family life, ultimately came full circle in a moment of triumph and joy. As she stood on the stage at Stanford, diploma in hand, Ginnie Hislop not only celebrated her personal achievement but also inspired countless others with her incredible story of dedication and resilience.

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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