The class of 2020 has certainly seen its share of problems. Imagine spending 18 years going through school only to be shut down at the end due to a pandemic. Of course, the students are going to graduate but it is nothing like they had hoped for. That hasn’t stopped people from finding creative ways to ensure that the graduates get the recognition they deserve.
This includes one father in Memphis, Tennessee, who decided to build a stage in his driveway. He did so because his daughter, Gabrielle Pierce, had earned her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. She may not have had the graduation that she dreamed of, but she would have one at home.
Torrence Burson saw his daughter crying when she thought about missing her graduation ceremony. He wanted her to feel special, so he took matters into his own hands.
Although it may not have been an event that took place at the college, Pierce was able to walk across the stage on graduation day while a loudspeaker played “pomp and circumstance” in the background. She was watched by neighbors, who stood at a safe distance and others drove by to wish her well.
One of the neighbors said: “My next door neighbor’s 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!”
“We love our daughter this much,” Burson told Fox 13 Memphis when discussing his decision to create the stage. “If I had to do this over again, I’d probably do it even bigger.”
She not only appreciated what was done, but she was also overwhelmed at the kindness her father showed to her.
“I was just in awe,” the new graduate told Fox 13. “I was amazed. I couldn’t believe a lot of people showed up. People were driving by yelling congratulations.”
Her brother, Torrence Burson, took a video of the graduation ceremony and posted it to Facebook:
My daddy went all out for my lil sister graduation. I do not own copyrights to this music.
Posted by Torrence Desha Burson II on Saturday, May 9, 2020
“It was just amazing,” Pierce told Fox 13. “Better than the actual graduation, because it was more personal.”
They reported that they did more than creating a stage, they even made programs. It seems as if she had earned her degree in public health science for epidemiology and is planning on joining the armed forces. She hopes that she will someday work for the Centers for Disease Control.
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