#BeBetter Hero of the Month

Because, it’s Mom’s day…

Stephan and Sharonda Wilson attending graduation (Photo Courtesy of Yahoo News)

Stephan and Sharonda Wilson attending graduation (Photo Courtesy of Yahoo News)

Sharonda Wilson, a mother of four, earned a bachelor's of science in business administration from Ferris State, was set to graduate on May 4th from the Flint, Michigan, campus of Ferris State University. But because of a conflicting schedule with her son, Stephan, set to also graduate that same day, Shardonda decided it was more important to be there for her son.

When she made a post to social media though lamenting having to miss her own graduation, a classmate of Stephan’s, who works in the president's office, made mention to Central Michigan President Bob Davies about the dilemma just a few hours before the ceremonies were to begin.

Acting quickly with the news, Davies called the president of Ferris State University and was able to get permission for his school to confer Sharonda Wilson's degree, according to Ari Harris, assistant director of communications at Central Michigan University.

"I can't imagine anything else that would top what happened to us a week before Mother's Day." Stephan Wilson

Having not told either Sharonda or Stephan of the plan, President Davies shocked both when he called Sharonda down to the stage were she was given an honorary red CMU graduation cap to wear for the special occasion.

“Please move your tassel from your right to your left,” Davies said to Sharonda Wilson in a video of the event in which the crowd of families and friends of other students can be heard roaring to life.

Stephan who earned a bachelor's of fine arts in music theater from Central Michigan said of his mom, “I wouldn't have been [at graduation] without her. That is the honest truth. He continued to talk about how her drive to earn her own college education impacted him, "She has definitely been my biggest support, biggest cheerleader and to see her be recognized along with myself was priceless," he said.

However serendipitous it all is, with Mother’s day just around the corner, I think we can all agree that there is nothing like the love of a mother for her child that motivates us to achieve things we never thought we could. For myself, undoubtedly my own mother is someone who would literally move heaven and earth if that’s what I needed and I can’t imagine being the person I am today without her influence and example.

So if this story is hitting you right in the feelz like it does to me, do yourself and your mom a favor and pick up the phone right now to tell her how much she means to you. And don’t just let that message be delivered once a year out of the guilt of seeing a Mother’s Day sale happening at some store.

One thing I know my mom always enjoys is when I shoot that “thinking of you” text first thing in the morning to let her know she’s on my mind and in my heart. Sometimes it’s those light-hearted acts of love that really make someone feel important.

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Always remember that someone — or several someones — made a difference in your life that empowered you to be here today.
— CMU President Bob Davies