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When A Student Missed Graduation To Have Her Baby, Her School Brought The Ceremony To Her

Juliet Smith said the experience has taught her how "beautiful" life can be.

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Smith went into labor shortly after delivering a speech at the school's baccalaureate ceremony, Guilford College said in a news release.

After the service, Smith and her family went to eat at a nearby restaurant. When she was waiting for her dinner, Smith's water broke, three weeks earlier than expected.

A short time later, Milo was born.

Although she was overjoyed at her son's birth, Smith said she was upset to miss graduation after working so hard for her degree.

Smith told BuzzFeed News that the hospital had tried to make it possible that she could attend her ceremony, but in the end she was in no shape to travel.

"Even though I was initially upset about missing graduation, I came to peace with the fact that I wouldn't be there as soon as I heard Milo's cry when he was born," she said. "Nothing else mattered at that point."


Since she couldn't make it to her ceremony, professors and deans from Guilford decided to bring the graduation ceremony to her.

A group of staff members showed up at Smith's hospital room to re-enact the entire ceremony, the school said in a news release.

One professor played "Pomp and Circumstance" on a tuba, while one of the graduation speakers delivered an abridged version of his speech. They then gave Smith her diploma and two Guilford baby bibs.

"Juliet's graduation ceremony represents the best of the Guilford College community and the connection and support for all of our students," Guilford's Assistant Academic Dean Erin Dell told BuzzFeed News. "It was a wonderful day for Juliet and all of our graduates."

Smith said the school's actions blew her away.

Facebook: juliet.smith.31

"I have loved Guilford College throughout my time there, and feel so honored to call it my Alma Mater," she told BuzzFeed News. "I don't think any other school would have done that for a student, and I still just cannot believe that Guilford did that for me. I am so blessed to have such support in my life, and now a beautiful baby boy."

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

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