Gabrielle Pierce was like many college students who did not have a graduation ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Gabrielle's dad wasn't about to let his daughter not miss out on a proper graduation, so he brought the college graduation to their house.
Pierce graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana this year and missed her commencement ceremony after it was canceled. Gabrielle, who earned a bachelor's degree in public health science, was devastated that she wouldn't have a graduation ceremony, so her father transformed their Tennessee driveway into the perfect graduation location.
Torrence Burson from Memphis constructed an entire stage, complete with a podium and loudspeakers. "After all those years, you're going to walk across somebody's stage if I have to build you one myself," Burson told WHBQ-TV.
The commencement ceremony included a procession, invocation, national anthem "sung" by Whitney Houston, welcome, song, commencement address, and finally, Gabrielle accepting her degree.
This dad built a stage in the driveway for his daughter to give her a personal graduation! 😩😍🙌🏾#HBCUGrad… https://t.co/0cchkrzKVx— Jobina Fortson (@Jobina Fortson)1589372690.0
There was even a program detailing Gabrielle's accomplishments.
"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, according to Blavity. "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."
SHOUTOUT TO THIS MEMPHIS XAVERITE! This Xaverite from Memphis couldn’t walk across the stage this past weekend due… https://t.co/7oHLtui910— Jeremy Pierre FOX13 (@Jeremy Pierre FOX13)1589204092.0
"I was just I awe. I was amazed. I couldn't believe a lot of people showed up. People were driving by yelling congratulations," Pierce said.
"We love our daughter this much. Regardless of the dollar figure, what it took to pull this off," Burson said. "If I had to do this over again, I'd probably do it even bigger."
"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," Pierce said.
"It was just amazing. Better than the actual graduation, because it was more personal," Pierce said.
Father pulls out all the stops for 'at-home' graduation after university ceremony canceled www.youtube.com