University grants dying father's wish to see daughter graduate

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University grants dying father's wish to see daughter graduate

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FARMVILLE, Va -- Thanks to the compassion of the faculty at Longwood University, a dying father saw his last wish come true.

Brittany Inge, of Crewe, is a senior majoring in elementary and middle school education at Longwood University in Farmville. She is expected to graduate with her class on Saturday, May 10.

Brittany's father, Bob, is battling stage four lung cancer and spent the last week in the hospital. Doctors told the Inge family that time was quickly running out, and Bob Inge feared he wouldn't witness his final wish: to watch his daughter graduate from college.

Then, Brittany received a phone call from the university and an email from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ken Perkins that would change her and her father's lives.

Perkins wrote in an email, "I understand your dad is not well at all. A little bird, so to speak, suggested that I consider a small, private ceremony in your home, very soon so that we can award you a symbolic diploma. I am more than willing to come to your dad's home, and bring with me the dean and registrar, dressed in our regalia and present this to you in front of your family."

The Inge family gratefully accepted Perkins' offer and on Monday, May 5, Bob Inge watched his daughter graduate from Longwood University in a private ceremony.

"We would like to thank Longwood for all their support that went far beyond our expectations. It was truly amazing to have this opportunity," Brittany said.

"I could not ask for anything more. I'm forever grateful to all the Longwood staff who made today so special and I'm proud to be a Lancer."

Her dad, Bob Inge, posted on Facebook on May 2:

"This will be my last post, I have been to Atlanta, Richmond and have gotten all of the information needed to make a rational decision as to my next steps. I have stopped all treatment at this point and have started with hospice," Bob Inge wrote.

"None of us know how much time we have left on earth, but I have been given a heads up that my time is very short."

U.S. Senator and former Virginia governor Mark Warner will address Longwood University's class of 2014 at commencement at 9:30 a.m. on May 10.

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