111-year-old receives an honorary high school diploma
NORFOLK, Va. (WKRC) -- Norfolk Public School Superintendent Samuel T. King bestowed an honorary high school diploma on June 17, 2014, for Lela Babb Burden, who would have graduated from Booker T. Washington High School if she had been able to finish her education in the early 1900s.
Ms. Babb Burden, who at 111 is one of the oldest people on Earth, is a resident of Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital.
An influenza pandemic temporarily closed schools and other public buildings in Norfolk in 1918. Ms. Babb Burden landed work cleaning houses for 50 cents a day and serving at a restaurant for $3 a week.
She never returned to school. Ms. Babb Burden married at 22, started a family and cared for family members.
The diploma was presented as a surprise.