The day begins to become even more special for a college graduate. After four years of hard work, Jada Sayles is ready to graduate from Dillard College, a historic Bʟᴀᴄᴋ college in New Orleans, on Saturday. Then she went into labor.
Around 4:30 a.m., just hours before the scheduled ceremony, Sayles was hospitalized. That day, she wrapped up another pivotal moment: the birth of her son.
She wrote on Twitter, along with a series of smiling photos of her adorable newborn: “I thought I was gonna walk across the stage to get my degree, instead I got my baby. My sweet face decided to make his way on MY big day (now his),”
Since Sayles was unable to attend her ceremony, the school decided to organize one for her. Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough wrote on Twitter: “Jada went into labor Friday night. Texted me around 4:30 am Saturday saying she was being admitted, & the baby was born on her graduation day. So we rolled to the hospital so I could end my tenure in the most special way.”
When she received her degree at the hospital, Sayles wore a graduation cap and gown. In addition to her family members, who could be heard cheering for her in the background, there was another special guest: the newborn son she held in her arms.
After praising her “determination and commitment to excellence,” Kimbrough announced the new mother had officially graduated. He wrote alongside video footage of the hospital ceremony: “This is truly a sweet moment. I will never forget it.”
That day, Sayles received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, according to NBC station WDSU. Kimbrough went on to share that although he “would have done this for anyone that asked,” he was actually the one to bring up the idea of the visit. “What time can we come!” he recalled telling the new mother. “To me this is what HBCUs are all about!”