My greatest honor and achievement came to me at 9:30 a.m. on May 14 during graduation of the Class of 2016 at Coker College in Hartsville, SC. There I sat in the beautiful grounds of my beloved college under the huge old trees where 3200 chairs were placed and still there was standing room only as the bell tower rang as a rare honor. I was surrounded by faculty, the president’s wife and the Senior Vice President supplying tissues as I wept tears of joy my way through the ceremonies.
My little 106 pound, 29 year old grandchild, Dr. Shannon Marrero, gave the commencement address. She earned a Master’s degree from Harvard and a medical degree from Brown University and was on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize. All her many projects and commitments to making the world a better place could not have prepared me for the excellent speech she gave. Dr. Wyatt, the college president recognized me as a alumnae of the college during the ceremonies and how I poured into my children the love of learning and community pay back to the girl standing on the podium beside him.
The complete surprise was Shannon being awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. All 3200+ people stood in respect as a white satin honor was placed around her neck at her shoulders.
This was my darling little girl who at the age of three told me “if the big bad wolf ever asked her where I lived – she would never tell.”