Sharonda Wilson decided to skip her own graduation ceremony in order to watch her son receive his diploma
After years of hard work, mom Sharonda Wilson decided she wouldn’t attend her commencement ceremony at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday in order to watch her son, Stephan, walk across the stage at Central Michigan University on the same day.
To her surprise, though, Wilson also got her diploma that day, all thanks to her loving son and officials from both universities.
According to CNN, Central Michigan’s president, Bob Davies, heard about Wilson’s predicament on the morning of the ceremony, and he then contacted Ferris State University president David Eisler. Working together, the universities quickly devised a plan to surprise Wilson with her diploma at her son’s graduation.
“Dr. Davies really shocked me. I told a friend of mine that (my) mom was skipping her graduation to be with me, and she used her magic to help Dr. Davies orchestrate that moment,” Stephan told the Detroit Free Press. “When I heard [she] was getting her degree with me I was speechless. My mother is truly the strongest and most compassionate woman I know. That moment tops [any] other moment I have ever shared with my mother.”
He continued: “I had been looking forward to walking across that stage and accepting my degree for a long, long time. Earning my degree was such a huge milestone in my life, and having my mom with me to celebrate that moment was an unbelievable blessing. I am so proud of us both.”
In footage of the emotional moment, a beaming Stephan is seen placing a graduation cap on his mother to the roar of everyone in attendance. President Davies then tells Wilson, who is in tears, to move her tassel from the right to the left, making her own graduation official.
The video posted by Central Michigan University has since been viewed more than 860,000 times since it was published on Twitter on May 4.
Social media users flocked to the post to express their own emotions after watching the video and to praise the universities for their quick thinking.
“Be the good you want to see in the world,” wrote one user. “Thank you for sharing some good today.”
After the ceremony, Davies offered his congratulations to Wilson and her son, who received a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in music theater.
“Sharonda and Stephan both put in the long hours and hard work, and they deserved the chance to celebrate together as a family,” Davies said in a statement, according to CNN. “We appreciated the opportunity to partner with our friends at Ferris State to recognize and celebrate this milestone achievement for both Stephan and Sharonda.”