The coronavirus outbreak has claimed graduations all over the country forcing students to get creative with celebrating the monumental event.

Xavier University graduate, Gabrielle Pierce was heartbroken when she realized she wasn’t going to walk across the stage at her HBCU. She expressed that she couldn’t stop crying because she was upset she was missing such a special moment.


Pierce’s dad decided to not let the moment pass and create a social distancing style graduation by renting a stage and a podium from a convention center so his daughter could walk across the stage.

“After all those years, you’re going to walk across somebody’s stage if I have to build you one myself,” Torrence Burson told FOX13.  “We love our daughter this much. Regardless of the dollar figure, what it took to pull this off. If I had to do this over again, I’d probably do it even bigger.”

The stage had graduation decor, a speaker playing The Graduation March, and neighbors lined up to attend from a distance.

Pierce was amazed and loved that her family was able to pull it off calling it “more personal” than traditional graduation.

Post-graduation, Pierce plans to enter the Air National Guard before going back to school to become an epidemiologist. She mentions she wants to work for the CDC.

Watch a glimpse of the graduation below.

Black History In The Making: 20 HBCU Graduates Who Are Changing The World
20 photos


Father Builds At-Home Graduation Ceremony For Daughter [VIDEO]  was originally published on

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