It’s an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a wrench in people’s lives. We mean, really—it’s thrown probably every single person in the world for a loop, especially people who were supposed to be celebrating milestones.
The new norm for baby showers is to drive by, wave and honk with well wishes from six feet away. The new norm for 21st birthdays is creating a DIY club in your garage. People are even getting married on the streets instead of in a chapel!
One of the hardest-hit people are seniors who are supposed to be graduating. They can’t walk down the aisles and fling their graduation caps in the air like they’ve been picturing doing for four years. So what’s their solution?
There have actually been a few creative alternatives to the standard graduation ceremony in light of coronavirus, including the Florida high school principal who honored her seniors by lining the campus driveway with their photos.
And now, one dad of the year has totally made his senior daughter’s day when he also came up with a creative solution to allowing her to safely graduate.
— BallerAlert (@balleralert) May 12, 2020
Gabrielle Pierce was super bummed when she realized she wasn’t able to graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana in the traditional way. So her father, Torrence Burson, decided that he was going to make it happen one way or another.
Torrence decided to literally build a stage in his driveway, just so his daughter could walk across it. And that’s not all—he really went above and beyond to make it feel like it was the real thing.
What happens at real graduations? There’s a procession, an invocation, you sing the national anthem, there’s a welcome speech, probably a few songs, and of course, the commencement address. Torrence made sure every single one of those things happened for Gabrielle.
Torrence even went so far to create a mock program booklet, which referenced that Whitney Houston would be singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Well, we need some humor after all!
You can imagine that creating a stage and pulling off a realistic graduation ceremony wasn’t exactly easy, but Torrence said he’d do it all again—even more so—to make his daughter happy.
“We love our daughter this much. Regardless of the dollar figure, what it took to pull this off,” he said. “If I had to do this over again, I’d probably do it even bigger.”
How sweet is this gesture? What other things can we be doing to ensure that people who deserve to feel celebrated get to feel that way, despite there being a global pandemic?