Little did Washington State University Global Campus student Chris Jose know that he would be celebrating commencement on May 6 with another milestone that very same morning: the birth of his first child.

“She wasn’t due for a couple more weeks, but she decided to come early,” said Jose, who received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences at the hybrid ceremony. “I guess she wanted to celebrate with us.”

Due to complications, Chris and his wife Kim checked into Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington on May 2, days before he was set to graduate. Over the course of the next four days, Kim would go through a long process of induced labor.

Finally, at 3:35 a.m. on the morning of commencement, Aaliyah-Iris Tabaquin Jose entered the world weighing seven pounds three ounces.

“We joked afterwards that she was waiting because she wanted to make a grand entrance on the day of graduation,” Chris said.

Only a few hours after the birth, Chris’ joy would be immortalized forever as he appeared live on screen at the Global Campus commencement ceremony to raucous applause. He was standing in a hospital room, proudly holding Aaliyah-Iris in his arms with a huge smile on his face. Kim, lying in the hospital bed next to him, held his diploma cover.

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