Proud Dad Of HBCU Grad Surprises Her With Graduation Ceremony In Their Driveway
“After all those years, you’re going to walk across somebody’s stage if I have to build you one myself,” the father said.
Many students were forced to get creative with their graduation celebrations after colleges canceled their commencement ceremonies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many graduates flooded social media with pictures of themselves donning their cap and gown with balloons in the background and took the opportunity to announce their future plans. However, one student's parents took the liberty of going all out for their baby to make sure she was recognized for her achievements, according to Because of Them We Can.
A Memphis, Tennessee, dad surprised his daughter with a full commencement ceremony in their driveway.
Gabrielle Pierce, who received her degree from HBCU Xavier University of Louisiana, walked across the stage her dad, Torrence Burson, put together to mark the completion of her collegiate studies. The set up was accompanied by an audience, stage and podium as the proud father wore his regalia.
“After all those years, you’re going to walk across somebody’s stage if I have to build you one myself,” Burson told FOX13.
A neighbor noticed the grandiose setup and took to Instagram to applaud the father for his efforts.
“My next door neighbors daughter couldn’t have her official graduation due to the pandemic so her created one for her! Now that’s a great/proud father for you. He made it happen!” the neighbor wrote.
As if the full set up wasn't enough, Pierce was celebrated with a ceremony complete with a procession, invocation, national anthem, welcome, song, commencement address and the conferring of her degree.
Jokingly on the program, Whitney Houston was listed as the singer for the national anthem.
"Gabrielle graduated from Southwind High School in 2015 with the ambition to attend The Illustrious Xavier University of Louisiana to achieve a degree in Biology Pre-Medicine," the program read.
"During her junior year of college, she decided to go into another direction of medicine by deciding to go into Public Health Science for Epidemiology. After all the trials and tribulations she went through, she completed college with 130 credit hours," the program continued. "She now plans to join the Armed forces to accomplish her end goal of working for the CDC."
“We love our daughter this much. Regardless of the dollar figure, what it took to pull this off. If I had to do this over again, I’d probably do it even bigger,” Burson said.
Pierce joins the many other students preparing to take on the new chapter of their lives.
Her godfather, Chaka Zulu, shared a post to Instagram of Karma wearing a Spelman t-shirt with blue balloons.
In Massachusettes, another high school teen is heading to Columbia University after being accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.
Congrats and hats off to all of the 2020 graduates who are making the most of their situation and continuing to celebrate their achievements. Blavity wishes you the best in your future endeavors!