A touching moment coordinated by two university heads to confer a mother’s degree at her son’s graduation ceremony has gone viral.
Stephan Wilson and his mom, Sharonda, were both looking forward to graduating from their respective universities in Michigan in the US, Buzzfeed News reports.
There was just one problem – their ceremonies fell on the same day.
Stephan was set to graduate with a degree in fine arts in musical theatre from Central Michigan University, while his mother was scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University but she decided to skip her own ceremony so she could attend her son’s.
In the days leading up to the graduation, Sharonda posted her predicament on Facebook and among those who saw the post was a student who worked in the president’s office at Central Michigan, CNN reports.
The student told Central Michigan University’s president, Bob Davies, about the situation and he contacted his counterpart at Ferris State University to find out if he could confer Sharonda’s degree.
"It was a very fast turnaround," Ari Harris, the spokesperson for Central Michigan, told CNN.
The two university heads surprised both Stephan and his mom by presenting Sharonda with her own graduation cap, and a mini ceremony during Stephan's graduation.
"I’d been looking forward to walking across that stage and accepting my degree for a long, long time," Stephan said in a statement.
"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’m so proud of us both."
"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.
"We appreciated the opportunity to partner with our friends at Ferris State to recognise and celebrate this milestone achievement for both Stephan and Sharonda."
The tear-jerking moment won major applause on the big day and has since gone viral on Twitter with more than 704 000 views, Fox News reports.