Meridian woman can't walk at graduation for second time

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 4:25 PM CDT
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All traditional graduation ceremonies have been altered this spring, and for one Meridian woman, it’s the second time in three years she’s been unable to walk across the stage, but that’s not hurting her spirit.

Newscenter 11 first introduced you to Tammie Jennings in 2017 when she was preparing to graduate from Meridian Community College, which is something that was 27 years in the making.

“I started in 2015 and ever since then I was taking classes,” Jennings says.

Jennings was eager to walk the stage, but in 2017 the fall graduation ceremony never commenced due to snow.

“My heart dropped because, as you know, I had been waiting nearly 30 years to get there. I didn’t get upset like most people thought I would. I told myself ‘You know what? I’m going to walk across that stage.’” Jennings says.

Jennings was so determined to walk the stage, she held her own private graduation at the Temple Theatre.

“It was just so important to me that on December 8 I walked across that stage,” Jennings told Newscenter 11 in 2017.

Fast forward to now, Jennings furthered her education at MSU Meridian in event planning and hospitality. Now that she’s ready to graduate again, the coronavirus had other plans.

“I’m putting things into perspective. I’m not upset about it. I am a little disappointed that I can’t walk again,” Jennings says.

With a small gathering of friends and family, there was still celebration for her latest achievement.

“I would love to walk. I just want to walk the stage. I want to shake the president’s hand and get my degree. I do,” Jennings explains.

Jennings says she wishes her 91 year old mother could see her walk across the stage and with this graduation going virtual, Jennings says she might have to pull that play from 2017 out of the playbook and hold her own ceremony in the future.

“People are losing their lives and suffering from this sad disease and that’s more important than walking across the stage,” Jennings says.

Jennings loves to cook and hopes to grow her business, MOE’S BBQ.

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