Mother surprised with degree at son's graduation, after skipping her own to be there

 Courtesy of Stephan Wilson
Courtesy of Stephan Wilson (WJRT)
Published: May. 12, 2019 at 5:27 PM EDT
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(05/12/2019) - Sharonda Love-Wilson was set to graduate from Ferris State University last Saturday.

But she ran into an issue.

Her son, Stephan, was receiving his diploma at Central Michigan University the same day.

Sharonda decided to skip her own ceremony to see her son's.

"My mother has made a lot of sacrifices," said Stephan Wilson.

The choice wasn't difficult for Sharonda.

“He had some struggles, so for him, I was super excited," said Sharonda. "Then to know he was going to be singing at graduation and we were going to be able to sit in the president's box and I was like oh we good," said Sharonda.

Then a moment something at graduation happened that neither was expecting.

"We didn't know this was in the works at all,” said Stephan. “So at the actual ceremony, I sang the national anthem and then I took my seat."

CMU President Bob Davies began his remarks acknowledging graduates when he called Stephan's name.

His mom began to walk toward him with a graduation cap in her hand.

"I was in shock, I couldn't do anything but kind of shake my hands and I was just excited to give her a hug,” said Stephan. “And then they continued."

“I made a call today to David Eisler at Ferris State University,” CMU President Bob Davies began in the video posted on Central Michigan University's social media.

"My jaw dropped because I said I think he is going to do this,” said Stephan. “This is the cap, this is the moment and it's all going to happen right now."

"On behalf of President Isler and Ferris State Trustees," Davies continued in the video. "I confer upon you, Sharonda Wilson, the bachelor's degree that you have earned with all rights. Please move your tassel from your right to your left."

"I wouldn't have been able to graduate without my mom. So to graduate with her was super special,” said Stephan.

Before they knew it graduation was over. And within half an hour Stephan boarded a bus with the CMU Chamber Singers and headed south for the week.

The two were only able to take a few photos following the ceremony but they were able to get something else.

"I have that video now," said Stephan. "I have that moment, it's recorded."

The Wilson's didn't have a chance to speak with Davies but one day they hope to tell him how thankful they are.

"You gave me the opportunity to graduate because to me I was missing it for my son but you gave me the opportunity to share and shine with him,” said Sharonda.

Wilson earned her bachelor of science in business administration and currently works at Mott Community College. With it, she is looking to work with young people transition from high school into the next step.

Stephan earned a bachelor of fine arts in Music Theater and will be moving to South Carolina in July to join the Resident Acting Company at Charleston Stage Theater.