Mother Receives More Than Diploma at Rutgers Graduation

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A Rutgers University graduate received more than just her degree at Wednesday night's arts and sciences graduation ceremony.

One by one, the 2017 Rutgers-Camden graduates took the stage at BB&T Pavilion to receive their degrees. However, when a graduating sociology major, Mahirym Holguin-Pagan, walked up, she was completely surprised to receive her diploma from her son, who came home early from deployment to be there.

Her son — Cpl. Jesus Ortega of the United States Marine Corps — has been deployed in the Korean peninsula since October 2016. He was able to come home a few days earlier than expected to be there for his mom's graduation.

Both the graduate and Marine received a standing ovation as they exited the stage.

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