A Law graduate from the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol recently fulfilled his promise to accept his degree while standing on graduation day, earning a standing ovation from fellow graduates.
The video of Jeremiah Daliel’s inspiring triumph that day went viral, with the university’s Facebook post garnering nearly 132,000 views.
Daliel, who hails from Swindon and is known to friends as Jerry, has been in a wheelchair for the past five years following a terrible car accident.
He said that he had not been fit enough to stand during his graduation ceremony in 2015 for his BSc in Crime and Criminology at the University of Portsmouth.
During his first year at UWE, however, he made a promise to his classmates that he would receive his degree while standing on his own two feet.
But when the big day arrived, Daliel had his doubts about being able to carry out his vow.
— Uni. West of England (@UWEBristol) July 27, 2016
He wrote a post on LinkedIn detailing how his “stunt” almost didn’t happen:
“The graduation team who only learnt of my stunt that morning were deliberating on health and safety matters and it looked like it was not going to happen after all. It was only after a few minutes into the ceremony that I got a thumbs up from the graduation team which meant that there was no time for rehearsal. I only had this chance and it had to be right.”
Nervous, Daliel said he almost chickened out, but when his name was called out, he heard his classmates clapping and cheering him on.
“As if I was dreaming, I pulled myself up unaided and put my hands forward in prayer position for the honour and guess what I was stood on my feet unassisted for the first time in five years,” he wrote.
On the Facebook video post, Daliel’s friends and university mates shared their messages of support and encouragement:
Image via UWE Bristol/YouTube