- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were closed and activities were cancelled.
- With the cancellation of her graduation ceremony, Gabrielle was heartbroken.
- But her father was determined to give that to her so he set up a graduation ceremony in their very own front yard!
A dad from Tennessee knows exactly how much a proper graduation ceremony meant for her daughter, but with the restrictions imposed to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the most-awaited event was canceled, unfortunately.
Of course, Gabrielle Pierce was devastated! She worked hard for years to achieve her bachelor’s degree in public health science only to end up not being able to march for graduation and receive her diploma like how she always pictured it in her mind during her difficult college days.
The Xavier University where Gabrielle graduated in December, only holds one commencement ceremony every year—and she has been looking forward to that for months.
However, in mid-March, Gabrielle received an email from the school prompting her of their batch’s graduation ceremony cancellation amidst the closure of institutions due to the pandemic. She cried for one whole week, she recalled to CNN.
Torrence Burson, her father, saw how devastated she was and it broke his heart. That is why, he came up with an idea to hold the commencement ceremony in their very front yard especially for her.
For six weeks, Torrence did the planning of the event—hiring a photographer, preparing the stage and the podium—all without Gabrielle’s knowledge.
When the special day finally came, Gabrielle was so shocked to see a full-sized stage installed in their front yard and 40 people sitting six feet apart with masks on were there to witness the moment. Then her father played “Pomp and Circumstance” in the background while she was walking toward the stage to get her diploma.
“Gabrielle never saw anything until she came out to walk,” Torrence told CNN. “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.”
Their neighbor, Delandrion Todd, is all praise to Torrence being a devoted father doing his best for his daughter.
“My next door neighbor’s daughter couldn’t have her official graduation due to the pandemic so he created one for her!” Delandrion wrote on Facebook. “Now that’s a great/proud father for you. He made it happen!”
Source: Good News Network