Kids & Family

This 'Proud Dad' Moment Went Above And Beyond

He wasn't going to let his daughter's hard work go uncelebrated so he held graduation in their driveway!


Graduating from college is a big deal. Gabrielle Pierce knows that. She recently finished her studies at Xavier University in Louisiana, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Health.

That's why, when Pierce learned that her graduation ceremony was canceled due to the coronavirus restrictions, she was devastated.

When she told her father that the commencement ceremony she had been looking forward to all year wasn't going to happen, Pierce's father stepped up to make sure she had a celebration worthy of her accomplishments.

Pierce earned a bachelor's degree from Xavier University in Louisiana. @TheShadeRoom

The proud papa surprised his daughter with a "pop-up" graduation ceremony in his hometown of Memphis, TN. He even built a stage in the driveway with a large "Class of 2020" banner as the backdrop.

He printed programs and invited Pierce's family and their neighbors, who attended from a safe distance. He played a recording of Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem and introduced Pierce's aunt, Rev. Dr. Deborah Smith, as the ceremony's keynote speaker.

Families and neighbors attended the impromptu graduation ceremony from a safe distance. Delandrion Todd/Facebook

"It was full of happiness," Pierce told The Shade Room. "I just couldn't believe I had so much support from my family, friends, and neighbors."

Pierce focused on epidemiology at Xavier, and she plans to join the Armed Forces with the end goal of eventually working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pierce's father even made programs for the ceremony. Delandrion Todd/Facebook

What an amazing way to honor's his daughter's accomplishments. We hope that all of the 2020 college grads get the chance to celebrate their achievements - they've earned it!

How can you start something good?

Inspired by Pierce's dad's unique celebration for his daughter?


Why not plan your own special event for graduates in your neck of the woods? You can help organize a car parade, bake cookies for a college grad that you know, or just take part in what folks in your area might already have planned.


If you have ideas for fun, socially-distant ways to recognize students who are missing out on their graduation ceremonies due to the coronavirus, please share them in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you!


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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