Torrence Burson, a father from Tennessee, is being applauded for making the effort to host a graduation ceremony at home for his daughter, Gabrielle Pierce, whose college graduation was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After 4 years of hard work, Pierce finished her Bachelors of Public Health Science with a Minor in Biology at Xavier University in Louisiana. She was heartbroken when she learned she won’t be able to march to the stage to receive her diploma, just like most of the graduating class of 2020.
“Initially I was upset, I was crying. It took me like a week to stop crying. I really wanted to walk, I felt like I needed to walk,” she told Fox 13.
That’s when her father decided to take the matter into his own hands and prepare a graduation ceremony for her right in their front yard. It was complete with a stage, podium, speakers as well as a program that details all the elements at a normal graduation.
“I was just I awe. I was amazed. I couldn’t believe a lot of people showed up. People were driving by yelling congratulations,” said Pierce, who was wearing complete graduation cap and gown on that day.
One of their neighbors shared a photo of the event on Instagram with the caption, “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!”
Moreover, Pierce plans to join the Air National Guard. She also wants to continue her studies to become an epidemiologist and hopefully work for the CDC.