Student Missed College Graduation, So School Held One Just For Her

Now THIS is Iowa nice.

This college was determined to make sure a student in a rough situation would get to put her cap and gown to use. 

University of Northern Iowa student Carley Johnston was late for her graduation this past weekend, due to a canceled flight. However, administrators at her university had her back, and performed a private commencement ceremony just for Johnston, reported. 

Johnston receives her diploma.
Johnston receives her diploma.

Photos from the small ceremony were shared on Reddit as social media users commented on the school's generosity, even labeling the act "Iowa nice." 

"We talk about a lot about being a UNI family," Johnston told the Des Moines Register. "That they can take 45 minutes of this evening, it just meant so much."

With her family in attendance, Johnston had the opportunity to walk across the same stage that the other graduates did and received her master of arts degree. The graduation song was even played through an iPhone, according to 

The moment was an emotional one. 

"There were a lot of tears," Scott Ketelsen, director of university relations, told "It was just so much fun. And you know, she deserves it." 

Johnston had met a few complications before her graduation. The student had been in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the job hunt, according to the Des Moines Register. She discovered her flight out of Baltimore was delayed and later on canceled. She had even alerted her family that she wouldn't be able to make it. 

However, after texting a mentor of hers who used to work at the university, that person ended up calling the school and explaining the situation. Administrators were happy to help. 

"There was never a question if everybody would stay [for Johnston's ceremony]," Ketelsen told the Des Moines Register.

According to the outlet, the administrators waited for Johnston to arrive for almost an hour. And though the student drove straight to her graduation from the airport, she ended up with all she needed for the ceremony. 

"I was still in my jeans and flannel but they had all my stuff waiting for me," she told

The staff definitely have no regrets about putting in the extra time to help the graduate. 

"All of our students work so hard, and to have something like a malfunctioning plane potentially mess up your graduation ceremony, that's just not right," Ketelsen told "So this was an easy decision for us and we were very happy to do it." 



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