Builder 2nd Class Bryce Webb Jr. had completed his degree at Northwest Missouri State University, but wouldn’t be able to celebrate his achievement with his classmates.
The 29-year-old Seabee was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan on Dec. 6, so he would miss the graduation ceremony Dec. 14, Lake News Online reported.
When the events coordinator at the university found out, she rounded up Webb’s friends, teachers and university staff for an impromptu graduation ceremony Dec. 5.
Webb went to what he thought was a quick meeting, but instead was hastily dressed in a cap and gown and presented his bachelor’s degree in horticulture by university Provost Doug Dunham the day before he deployed.
“Words can’t describe it,” Webb told the newspaper. “I’m going to call my mom as soon as I’m done here.”
Webb enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 17, 2001 and is stationed with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 15, according to personnel records. The newspaper reported that he expects to be overseas for at least a year.