Flight Crew Throws Impromptu Graduation Ceremony For College Athlete Passengers
Not the graduation ceremony these students were planning, yet one they will never forget
A canceled graduation ceremony is just one of the huge disappointments students across the world are facing.
Still, it’s a huge loss for a young person who has worked most their life to put on the cap and gown and walk down the aisle to applause and celebration.
That’s what some seniors from Briercrest College were facing as they boarded a WestJet airplane Monday. The women’s volleyball team was coming back to Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada from the CCAA National Women’s Volleyball Championships in Québec City.
Just hours before getting on the plane, the athletes learned that the rest of the semester was moving online. Their graduation, which was scheduled for April 17th was canceled.
“No grad ceremony, no athletic banquet, everything was an abrupt ending from that day.”Ashley Erickson, Briercrest senior & CCAA National Championship All-Star and the winner of the Chuck Gillickson Exemplary Leadership Award
The school says that’s when team chaplain, Joelle Epp, stepped in. She might’ve just been the little birdie who shared the news with the WestJet crew.
They took over from there.
“As soon as they heard her say that, they got so excited and started asking us to write down the degrees we would be receiving,” senior Rebecca Garner said. “About 5 minutes later they started our impromptu, 39,000 feet above ground, graduation ceremony.”
Using the on-flight announcement system, the crew of West Jet flight 655 called out the names and diplomas of each senior player. They even hummed “Pomp and Circumstance” as each senior walked the center aisle.
The crew passed out homemade diplomas that read, “West Jet Diploma of Excellence.”
Each graduating student received a barf bag filled with treats.
The crew also offered them champagne, but they had to turn that down. Briercrest is a Christian college that requires students to sign an oath promising not to drink.
Graduate/passenger Kirsty Kandrachuk said, “The four of us felt extremely blessed to experience that, and we need to recognize these small acts of kind customer service that make people feel valued and important during times like these!”
By the way, the school does plan to hold a replacement ceremony on campus in the Fall.
How are you making up for canceled events?
How are you making it up as you go along? Coming up with new ways to celebrate? Please share in the Comments section below.
Struggling with all the bad news out there? You might want to check out my TEDx Talk: