Woman Receives Diploma After Waiting 88 Years

By Ashley Thublin
|  Friday, Mar 15, 2013  |  Updated 11:26 PM EDT
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Woman Receives Diploma After Waiting 88 Years

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Happy graduation -- 88 years later.

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Talk about procrastinating on a homework assignment.

An Ohio resident finally received her high school diploma 88 years after completing all but one requirement.

Although she'd fulfilled 12 years of schooling, Reba Williams flunked out of Mount Vernon High School in 1925 after refusing to read an assigned book, the Mainsfield News Journal reported.

As for her reasoning, the 106 year old said she'd already read the book once, didn't like it and wasn't going to read it again.

But the centenarian grad doesn't advise students to follow her example.

"I'd tell them what happened to me," she told the Mainsfield News Journal. "If they expect to get anyplace in this world, they have to learn."

Her situation received renewed attention after News Journal interviewed Williams about being the former cook at Malbar Farm.

After seeing the segment, a retired English teacher made it her mission to get Williams her overdue degree. And, on Feb. 18 the board of education unanimously approved.

Donning a white graduation cab, Williams was presented with her diploma on Wednesday.

Despite her belated sheepskin, she praised the Mount Vernon School System for giving students the opportunity for lifetime learning.

"I was learning all the time," Williams said.

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