Register to win $600 gift card

This Norfolk centenarian just got a high school degree

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORFOLK, Va. – Lela Burden received her degree Wednesday. The centenarian lightly clapped just before she was handed her diploma.

Doumar recently celebrated her 111th birthday in May, with ice cream.

“I’m not old yet, I’m still a young lady,” Burden said back in May.

Burden is delightfully sharp. She remembers nearly everything about her time in school.


Schools were temporarily shut down in 1918 for a flu pandemic, by that time the teenage Burden was working two jobs and never went back to finish her education.

Decades of rich life experience taught her more than most learn in two lifetimes.

“Not any different,” she said on how she feels about being one of the world’s oldest women. “Still have your aches and pains but thank God I’m still alive.”