The Wilson family had a lot to celebrate this graduation season. Stephan Wilson and his mom, Sharonda, were both graduating from schools in Michigan this spring. Stephan was graduating with a degree in fine arts in musical theater from Central Michigan University. Sharonda was also graduating with a bachelor’s degree, but from Ferris State University. Unfortunately, both graduation ceremonies ended up being scheduled for the same day.
Sharonda did what just about any mom would do in the situation. She decided not to walk for her own degree in order to attend her son’s ceremony. The president of CMU, Bob Davies, learned of the unfortunate timing when he heard a friend of Sharonda’s discussing it the morning of the ceremony. The friend worked in the president’s office and recalled a Facebook post on Stephan’s page about what happened.
The school’s president quickly placed a call to the president of Ferris State, David Eisler. They decided to surprise Sharonda with her own cap and a mini ceremony during Stephan’s graduation. Sharonda got to graduate with the crowd cheering her on and her son by her side.
Bob Davies spoke about the special moment in a statement to Buzzfeed News.
“The commencement ceremony is a celebration of student achievement and it acknowledges the passion, dedication and enthusiasm required to earn a college degree,” he said. “Sharonda and Stephan both put in the long hours and hard work, and they deserved the chance to celebrate together as a family.”
Following graduation, Stephan hit the road with the CMU School of Music Chamber Singers for a multi-state tour. CMU also released a statement thanking both schools on Stephan’s behalf: “Earning our college degrees has been an incredible journey for both my mom and I, and it was a blessing to stand beside her and celebrate together. I’m so thankful to President Davies and President Eisler for making this such a special moment for us.”
This just might be the best graduation story this year!