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Video: Meet Virginia Hislop: Masters Degree Recipient at Age 105

At 105 years old, Virginia "Ginnie" Hislop walked the stage to receive her long-awaited master's degree from Stanford Graduate School of Education. Her journey, which began over 80 years ago, exemplifies the power of living proudly and authentically at any age, and offers a lesson on the dangers of false modesty.

Ginnie Hislop began her studies at Stanford in the 1940s, but her plans were interrupted by World War II. When her then-boyfriend, George Hislop, was called to serve, Ginnie left school to marry him and assist in the war effort, focusing on raising her family. Despite the many roles she played—mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—she never let go of her educational aspirations.

For decades, Ginnie contributed to her community, serving on school and college boards in Washington State. Her dedication and tenacity are a testament to the FIT (Faith, Intuition, Tenacity) methodology I teach. Ginnie’s faith in her vision kept her motivated. Her intuition guided her through the twists and turns of life, and her tenacity saw her through to the end of her educational journey.

When Stanford dropped its thesis requirement, Ginnie seized the opportunity to complete her degree. As she accepted her diploma, she exclaimed, "My goodness, I've waited a long time for this." Speaking on "Good Morning America," she said, "False modesty has never been one of my problems. I felt I deserved it, and I was delighted to get it."

This story is a powerful reminder that we should never downplay our achievements or aspirations, regardless of our age. Ginnie’s journey underscores the importance of living authentically and proudly, and never letting societal expectations diminish our dreams.

Incorporating the FIT methodology, we can all strive to live as authentically and proudly as Ginnie Hislop. By having faith in our vision, trusting our intuition, and demonstrating tenacity in the face of obstacles, we can achieve our goals and inspire others to do the same.


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