Willie Mae Jones visited the hip campus of Facebook on Tuesday in celebration of her 101st birthday, making her possibly the oldest visitor to ever grace the Menlo Park company run by a young man about 70 years her junior.
Jones, who passed the century mark on Aug. 24, gave a big thumbs up at the social media giant, strapped on Oculus virtual reality goggles and chatted with Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook did not invite the media along on the trip, but released photos and information after the visit.
A Facebook spokesman also couldn't immediately confirm whether Jones was indeed the oldest person to ever set foot on campus. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was visiting the Vatican in Rome during the tour, turned 32 in May.
Jones told her great-granddaughter, Keyanna Adger, she'd love to visit her at work as an administrative assistant in the News Feed division. Adger, who was not available for an interview, wrote on Facebook that when she started work at the company three weeks ago, Jones asked if she could come for lunch because visiting Facebook was something on her bucket list.
The Facebook team made her wish come true and even gave Jones a "Happy Birthday" serenade at Hacker Square, which Adger captured on video. Jones was surrounded by family, as she brought five generations of relatives with her on the tour.
According to oldest daughter, Mary Mesquitta, Jones was married to her late husband, Roosevelt Jones, and the two had five children, including herself. In 1950, Jones moved from Mississippi to Mare Island in Vallejo, to Menlo Park, just a few miles from company headquarters.
While the smile on Jones face showed she was thrilled with the visit, Sandberg also got a big kick of the meeting, too. Sandberg’s post said she asked Jones for tips on living past 100. The answer? Exercise, gardening and family.
On Tuesday, Mesquitta said in an interview that her mother wakes up every day at 6 a.m., putters around in the garden and regularly attends Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Redwood City.
As for using Facebook herself, Jones is not a user. "But she sees all the pictures we post," Mesquitta said, "we share them with her all the time."