She had worked hard to study for her Bachelor's degree, but her son's graduation wasn't something she was going to miss, even if it meant missing her own. The university found out about this and handed them their degrees together in a heart-tugging moment of pride, joy, and love.
A mother's love for her child is a power so great that nothing can ever get in the way of it. And for this mom especially, it holds true.
Sharonda Wilson was really looking forward to receiving her diploma during her graduation from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. After all, she had worked hard for it. But there was just one issue - her son, Stephan was graduating on the same day from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Determined that her son's big moment was more important for her, she was ready to ditch her own graduation.
But her son's school, as well as hers, chose to do something different, reports CNN.
Shoronda was sitting and cheering on her son like a proud momma when she got the most wonderful surprise - there came an announcement that both she and her son were going to be graduating together! Called onto the stage, she was given a cap and received her degree with the entire auditorium breaking out in cheers and standing ovations.
The best part, neither mother nor son knew about this plan. This beautiful moment was captured on camera and on posting went viral.
It all began when in the days leading up to the big day, Sharonda posted about it on Facebook. Among those who saw the post, one was a student who was part of the President Bob Davies' office at Central Michigan University. Then on Saturday, the day of the graduation event, that student informed the president about the situation. As for how the colleges pulled it off, Davies shed some light on it.
The moment he knew about the predicament Sharonda was in, he got in touch with his counterpart at President David Eisler. Davies wanted to see if there was a way his school could confer Sharonda's degree. "It was a very fast turnaround," Ari Harris, the spokesman for Central Michigan, told CNN.
Finally, the moment arrived and the mother got her chance to don the cap. "Please move your tassel from your right to your left," Davies said to her in the video. Ecstatic for his mother, tears rolled down Stephan's face as he hugged his mom while the rest of the audience stood and cheered.
Stephan too had his story to share about the touching moment. Earning his degree as a Bachelor of Arts in music theater while his mom received her Bachelor of Science in business administration, he calls this event a blessing.
"I had 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 am so proud of us both."
"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," he told 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.
In a Facebook post, he had one more thing to add. He said, "Today I got more than a degree from CMU, I received a memory to last a lifetime. My heart is so full, and I am so grateful for all of God’s many blessings! Thank you President Davies, the Wilson family will always remember this moment."
Davies told CNN that both the Wilsons deserved to be recognized. "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 recognize and celebrate this milestone achievement for both Stephan and Sharonda.
The video on Central Michigan University's twitter account has gone viral and has been watched over 886,000 times at the time of writing.
Watch the emotional moment here: