BY Dollita Okine, 5:20pm July 04, 2024,

Mom receives surprise cap and gown she didn’t get to wear for her graduation over 40 years ago

The 27-year-old documented the moment as her mother opened a delivery box with purple and black regalia of The George Washington University Law School, where her mother received her degree in 1982. Photo Credit: GMA

Miranda Turner and her siblings surprised their mother, Pamela Martin-Turner, with a doctoral tam and gown that she never got to wear when she graduated from law school 42 years ago. The 27-year-old documented the moment on Instagram as her mother opened a delivery box with purple and black regalia of The George Washington University Law School, where her mother received her degree in 1982.

After donning the gown and cap, Martin-Turner sobbed as she looked in the mirror and exclaimed, “This is the best thing ever.” The 66-year-old mom of three told “Good Morning America,” “I was so moved by it all, because I obviously had an unhealed part of my heart that felt bad about what happened when I was in law school, so what the children did here really helped to heal that part of my heart.”

Before she graduated from law school in the spring of 1982, she explained that she was in an automobile accident that caused her to fail a class. Thus, she was not permitted to walk during her spring commencement ceremony.

“I never saw the cap and gown and never wore it or anything, and it was a real disappointment to me at the time. I felt really, really ashamed because I had failed this class,” Martin-Turner recounted.

Despite losing out on the opportunity to walk during her law school graduation, Martin-Turner was able to finish her remaining classes and received her law degree in September 1982, according to GW Law. After that, she spent years pursuing a career in tax law before taking a position as director of a nonprofit organization in Detroit.

Miranda Turner was inspired by her mother’s story to strive hard in everything she does to avoid failure. Since she was about to graduate from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, she thought it would be the ideal time to surprise her mother not only with the regalia but also with a special mother-daughter photoshoot at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

She told the outlet, “I wanted her to be able to have that feeling, because when I first tried on my cap and gown, I was just so happy and giddy, and I jumped around in it. My mom really deserves the world. She’s poured everything into us, and so this was just a moment that we wanted to pour back into her.”

Together, the mother and daughter celebrated their accomplishments in May, and now they have priceless memories to cherish. Martin-Turner wants people to understand that while failing is a natural part of life, choosing to get back up is also a choice.

She encouraged, “One of the things I hope maybe people will take from this is that, first of all, no matter what, whatever adversity comes, you can fall down, but you can get up … and I hope people will understand that you don’t need to carry shame.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 4, 2024


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