This is Juliet Smith, a college student from North Carolina. Last week, she was all set to graduate from Guilford College as an English major and a German minor.
However, she never made it to the ceremony — for a very special reason. The night before the graduation, Smith delivered her first son, Milo, with her fiancé Isaiah Unger.
Smith went into labor shortly after delivering a speech at the school’s baccalaureate ceremony, Guilford College said in a news release.
After the service, Smith and her family went to eat at a nearby restaurant. When she was waiting for her dinner, Smith’s water broke, three weeks earlier than expected.
A short time later, Milo was born.
Although she was overjoyed at her son’s birth, Smith said she was upset to miss graduation after working so hard for her degree.
“I was so mad at him,” she said. “And then I was upset with myself, because I didn’t want my first feeling toward my first son to be anger, but I’d been so excited to be a part of commencement for so long.”
But Smith was in for a very special surprise…
Since she couldn’t make it to her ceremony, professors and deans from Guilford decided to bring the graduation ceremony to her.
A group of staff members showed up at Smith’s hospital room to re-enact the entire ceremony, the school said in a news release.
One professor played “Pomp and Circumstance” on a tuba, while one of the graduation speakers delivered an abridged version of his speech. They then gave Smith her diploma and two Guilford baby bibs.
“Juliet’s graduation ceremony represents the best of the Guilford College community and the connection and support for all of our students,” Guilford’s Assistant Academic Dean Erin Dell told BuzzFeed News. “It was a wonderful day for Juliet and all of our graduates.”
Smith said the school’s actions blew her away. “In the last 24 hours I gave birth to my beautiful son, graduated from college, and have been witness to just how beautiful life, and humanity, can be,” she wrote on Facebook.