UT student gets massive surprise at fall graduation ceremony

UT student gets massive surprise at fall 2013 graduation ceremony

Posted:
The University of Tennessee has more than one thousand new graduates, as UT held its Fall 2013 Commencement Friday morning. The University of Tennessee has more than one thousand new graduates, as UT held its Fall 2013 Commencement Friday morning.
"Four and a half years of hard work is finally paying off," said Bryant Bales, a Knoxville native, graduating with a Bachelors in Business Administration. "Four and a half years of hard work is finally paying off," said Bryant Bales, a Knoxville native, graduating with a Bachelors in Business Administration.
It was an overwhelming brother and sister reunion, after more than a year and a half of separation. It was an overwhelming brother and sister reunion, after more than a year and a half of separation.
"I saw him, and he picked me up, and I was just completely overcome with emotion," said Marvyl Cockrell. "I saw him, and he picked me up, and I was just completely overcome with emotion," said Marvyl Cockrell.
"I know she's worked extremely hard to get to this point in her life. This is a big moment in her life and I didn't want to miss it," Dale Cockrell said. "I know she's worked extremely hard to get to this point in her life. This is a big moment in her life and I didn't want to miss it," Dale Cockrell said.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee has more than one thousand new graduates, as UT held its Fall 2013 Commencement Friday morning.

Graduation day was extra special for one student, who got a lot more than just her diploma. She got the surprise of a lifetime.

More than 1,100 students earned their college degrees Friday, which have been years in the making.

"Four and a half years of hard work is finally paying off," said Bryant Bales, a Knoxville native, graduating with a Bachelors in Business Administration.

"I have worked way too hard for this degree! But it's worth it, like I'm really excited," said Brittany Cooper of Sweetwater, who earned her Bachelors in Education.

Each graduate is now officially part of the "Vol For Life" alumni family.

"You can say 'I went to UT' and if they did too, then you're automatically best friends," said Cooper.

Among this year's fall graduates was Marvyl Cockrell. Cockrell's brother Dale has been deployed overseas with the United States Navy for the last 16 months.

"My brother is my best friend, and I've just been missing him every day," said Cockrell.

He hasn't been able to come home a single time.

"He's been gone for so long, and there's so many things happening in the last year of school, so many milestones and you always kind of hope that he's going to be there for them," said Cockrell.

Little did she know, he took special leave to surprise her at graduation.

"I looked over and saw my whole family and he wasn't sitting there and I was just devastated," said Cockrell.

So as her name was called to go accept her diploma, he surprised her on stage.

"I couldn't see him and I was literally just walking across the stage thinking that well he's cheering for me wherever he is," said Cockrell. "And then I saw him, and he picked me up, and I was just completely overcome with emotion."

It was an overwhelming brother and sister reunion, after more than a year and a half of separation.

"It's rough living on the other side of the world and not being able to see my sister every day," said Dale Cockrell.

"She's the one person I really talk to the most when I get a chance to call home or use the Internet when we're in Japan. She's the first person I contact," said Dale.

Dale knew he had to see his sister graduate.

"I know she's worked extremely hard to get to this point in her life. This is a big moment in her life and I didn't want to miss it," he said.

Marvyl says her graduation day wouldn't be happening without her brother.

"His support is the reason that I'm graduating," said Marvyl.

Dale not only got to surprise his sister at graduation, but he's actually getting to stay home for the holidays.

He will fly back the day after Christmas.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.