The year 2020 is a year like no other. If you would’ve told me that we would be “sheltering at home” because of a mysterious virus, I would’ve told you to stop lying. But here we are–and nearly everything has changed, including graduations.
What went from a big ceremony with Black folks trying to barter and get more graduation tickets in order for family members to see them walk across a stage and get their diploma, has now been replaced by virtual celebrations and lawn signs.
But one father didn’t want his daughter to settle for anything less than the ceremony and diploma she worked so hard to secure.
Gabrielle Pierce worked four years at Xavier University in Louisiana–the school that leads all other schools in graduating Black doctors, only to end with something being sent in the mail. To put it mildly, she was disappointed.
Pierce plans to enter the Air National Guard before going back to school to become an Epidemiologist and wants to work for the CDC.
An epidemiologist studies the causes of diseases and other types of serious health problems in the public to stop them from spreading. Infectious disease specialists then report what they learn to officials in the government and to the public. Something that is very needed in this day and age.
Seeing the disappointment in his little girl’s eyes, Torrence Burson did what any father would do: he made it happen for her, in spite of the circumstances.
“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.
“Initially I was upset, I was crying. It took me like a week to stop crying,” Pierce said. “I really wanted to walk, I felt like I needed to walk,” Pierce said.
That’s all a dad needs–to see his baby girl crying–to go into full “dad mode” and make it happen. So make it happen is just what he did.
“I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night and said, ‘that’s it. I’m just going to be the graduation here,’” Burson told Fox 13 in Memphis.
Pierce admitted she was skeptical at first, but then next thing you know…