Texas A&M Relocates And Holds Early Graduation Ceremony For Student’s Dad With Terminal Cancer
The most coveted moment that Jim Brewer wanted to witness was to see his daughter graduate from Texas A&M University. However, the graduation does not happen until May in College Station, Texas. This is a problem because Jim doesn’t know how many days he has left because pancreatic cancer has ravaged his body and given him a death sentence. That’s when the Aggies brought the graduation to Jim.
On Tuesday, Jim’s 23-year-old daughter Jenny graduated from his alma mater, at his home! The university was so accommodating that they not only moved up Jenny’s graduation a couple of months, but they also were kind enough to have the ceremony at Jim’s house in Austin, Texas.
The 57-year-old proud papa was able to see his daughter dressed from head to toe in her cap and gown.
From My Statesman:
The ceremony started at 1:30 p.m. sharp as Texas A&M Associate Dean John Hurtado, wearing a black robe with a purple sash, stood at a lectern borrowed from Clayton Elementary School, where Brewer’s wife, Lisa, teaches second grade. Lisa Brewer knelt beside his wheelchair and held his hand as their two sons, Nick, 26, and Mike, 27, stood behind them.
“When I heard about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance,” Hurtado told the crowd. He brought a flag called a gonfalon that represents the college of engineering and explained the symbols to the crowd. Hurtado, an aerospace engineering professor, taught Jim’s daughter, Jenny, who is 23 and slated to receive a bachelor’s degree in that subject on May 12.
A tearful Jim watched his daughter from his wheelchair, clutching a blanket. As she walked to the podium, Jim touched his own ring, Class of 1980, and gave Jenny a thumbs-up.
“One of the last things on my bucket list was to see my daughter graduate, but I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Jim said. “Just seeing her get her degree.”
The wonderful idea was thought up by Jim’s son Nick. Two weeks ago, he called Daniel Pugh, vice president for student affairs, and asked about the possibility of a home ceremony. Pugh said yes.
“With the experience I’ve had with Texas A&M before and knowing the kind of people they are, I was optimistic,” Nick told My Statesman. “But to get the response from the people I got it from was pretty cool.”
Jenny is to receive her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering on May 12. “I just want to thank Texas A&M,” Jenny said. “The Aggies are awesome.”
“This is beyond my expectations,” Jim Brewer said.
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