The pomp and circumstance was felt across Richmond as thousands of students from both Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University tossed their graduation caps in the air.
Both graduation ceremonies drew out big names.
CEO of D.C.-based real estate providing company CoStar Group, Andrew C. Florance spoke at VCU’s commencement ceremony.
“If you’re sitting here today with no idea of what’s in store for you, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. It’s normal, keep looking,” said Florance.
VUU brought out famed actor and activist Danny Glover.
“I’m inspired by them and their education here, and their moral conviction that they’ll make the kind of choices that will contribute to a better world and rescuing humanity and mother earth,” said Glover.
There was definitely no lack of super star power at either ceremony, but the real celebrities of the ceremonies are the class of 2019, especially mother-daughter duo Tajae and Doreen Jackson, who had the honor of graduating from VUU together.
“It feels like a dream,” said Tajae. “It took a while for us to actually realize we were graduating the same year.”
Tajae is was awarded her undergraduate degree in business and marketing, as well as a minor in mass communication. Her mother, Doreen, graduated with a degree in theology but it isn’t her first time waling across the stage.
“This is my third degree,” said Doreen. “I have my associates, I went to Norfolk State and now I’m coming here.”
The theology major says this dual celebration is no coincidence.
“I believe that this is God-ordained,” said Doreen.
“It meant so much to me,” said Tajae. “I came up there a second time just to walk across the stage with her.”
Doreen said said this third degree serves as an opportunity to inspire her daughter to keep raising the bar.
“I’m going to keep going and get my masters as well,” said Tajae.
This duo is proof that big accomplishments can be shared in different generations.
“We finally made it. We pushed each other and we made it,” said Tajae.
“What a better way to pass down the tradition to have your mother beside you when you graduate and be part of a much larger continuum of learning and growing,” said Glover.