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University held special graduation for only one student because of dying father

According to WRIC-Channel 8 News on Tuesday, Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia granted a dying father's wish to see his daughter graduate. It was the compassion of the faculty at the small university to make this happen for the 57-year-old father of two who is dying of lung cancer.

Brittany Inge, of Crewe, is a senior majoring in elementary and middle school education at Longwood University. She was scheduled to graduate with her class on Saturday, May 10. However, her father is battling stage-four lung cancer and spent all of last week in the hospital. Doctors gave him a choice to remain in the hospital or return home to spend his last days with his family. Bob wanted to see his 23-year-old daughter graduate from college before he died.

When the school heard about the father's dying wish Ken Perkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs, contacted Britanny with news that thrilled her and her father. 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.”

Another local news channel reported that the Inge family gratefully accepted the offer from the university and on Monday, May 5, Bob watched his daughter graduate in a private ceremony on campus. His final wish was granted when he saw his daughter receive her diploma from Longwood University.

On Monday morning Bob, Brittany and more than 20 other friends and family entered the rotunda in the Ruffner Building to watch the special ceremony. Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV presided. There was not a dry eye in the room. Watch the video above to see the special ceremony that took place five days before other members of Brittany's class received their diplomas.

Bob said, "I had no idea Longwood would go out of their way. It takes special people and special organizations to make this happen." Brittany said, "Everybody was dressed up just as if it was the normal graduation, except there was a lot less people." The entire Inge family was very grateful for the kind gesture of Longwood for making exception in this case.

Now that Brittany has her degree in elementary and middle school education, she is job hunting and hopes her father lives long enough to see her become a teacher.

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