College Grad Gets Diploma in Hospital after Missing Ceremony to Give Birth

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Graduating from college makes for a pretty magical day, but when you graduate and give birth to your first child, that’s one for the record books!

Jada Sayles, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in pre-law from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, said she was steaming her graduation gown at a hotel near the campus when her contractions began. She went to the hospital and found out she was in labor, giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Easton, hours later. The 7-pound, 6-ounce boy got his moment, then his mom received her diploma in the hospital from the college president himself.

“I thought I was gonna walk across the stage to get my degree, instead I got my baby,” Sayles tweeted, sharing pictures of her son. “My sweet face decided to make his way on MY big day (now his). Shoutout to my university for still bringing my graduation and degree to me. Ima college graduate & mommy, talk to me nice!”

“A day before my due date nothing had changed,” Sayles told Fox News of her pregnancy. “I wasn’t dilating—nothing. I was actually scheduled to get induced at 5 p.m. after graduation.”

Dillard University’s graduation happened that day on campus with Sayles’ name read during the ceremony. But president Walter Kimbrough went to Ochsner Baptist Medical Center where Sayles was recovering to hand her the diploma himself.

“I mentored under him, so we have a really good relationship where I kept him updated with my pregnancy,” Sayles said.

“To me this is what HBCUs are all about,” he wrote in part. He also joked that now he’s known around town as the president who makes house calls. “Went to the bank this morning and the teller said, ‘Word on the street is that you do bedside graduations,'” he wrote.

“It just feels unreal,” Sayles continued. “After Dr. Kimbrough gave me my degree, I didn’t realize how big [the moment] was.” Sayles told The Grio she plans to attend law school, but for now, she just wants to spend time bonding with her son.

Becoming a mom and graduating from college on the same day is pretty big, indeed.

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