The coronavirus continues to be the figurative thorn in collective humanity’s side. Practically every public event over the past few months have been canceled as a result of ongoing lockdowns and quarantining.
Schools have been hit the hardest, with classes either canceled altogether or made entirely virtual. Many universities across the nation may not even resume physical, in-person attendance until after fall semester or the year ends.
The graduation walk is a classic life and coming of age moment, symbolizing the closing of one chapter and the opening of a sea of limitless possibilities. When Gabrielle Pierce found out she wouldn’t be able to walk for graduation, she’s was justifiably upset.
Fortunately, her dad’s awesome.
Unable to bear Gabrielle’s sadness, her loving father Torrence Burson set out to ensure a proper graduation. He spent the next six weeks secretly booking a stage, podium, and professional photographer.
On a beautiful spring commencement day, he proceeded to bring graduation to his daughter.
Gabrielle was shocked to find the stage outside, coupled with 40 masked attendees sitting 6 feet apart.
Burson explains to CNN,
“Gabrielle never saw anything until she came out to walk. At that moment, I didn’t have any worries. I was speechless. To see my baby walk across the stage and all her friends, family, neighbors and people that we don’t even know stopped in the street to witness this. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
The stage lies atop the driveway, featuring the beautiful suburban-brick backdrop of the family’s Memphis home. There’s a large black platform, featuring two ornate, wooden chairs and a fancy podium. A Xavier University banner’s draped in the background.
Technically, Gabrielle graduated in December; however, Xavier celebrates one single commencement per year.
After reading the cancellation letter from the university in mid-March, she apparently spent the next week crying according to CNN.
On a cloudless spring day, Gabrielle takes a seat in her driveway. The commencement begins.
Gabrielle’s neighbor, Delandrion, took to Facebook to celebrate the event and share the festivities,
“My next door neighbors daughter couldn’t have her official graduation due to the pandemic so he created one for her! Now that’s a great/proud father for you. He made it happen!”
Seriously, Gabrielle’s new commencement day covers as a typical graduation, though there’s nothing typical about the circumstances.
But just check out the ceremony’s program. It looks like an official document. The Xavier seal appears especially authentic and ceremonial.
It’s a little tough to read, but the document states,
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.
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.
She now plans to join the Armed forces to accomplish her end goal of working for the CDC.
Things don’t always go according to plan, especially these days. Although life currently seems suspended, time marches forward. Stay flexible and continue to spread joy and love.
Gabrielle’s clearly surrounded by people that absolutely adore her. She now has a degree and the everlasting memory of a genuinely unique commencement ceremony put on by her loving father and family. Not even coronavirus can take that away from her.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Join your friends or be the first to like our page