Service dog receives diploma with owner at University of New Jersey graduation ceremony


Service dog receives diploma at graduation ceremony

Service dog receives diploma with owner at college graduation ceremony


A service dog named Justin took center stage at graduation this week, receiving his own diploma from the president of Seton Hall University.

Originally posted on social media by the university, Justin’s graduation video quickly went viral as it captured the special moment when the service animal opened wide to receive his diploma with his owner, Grace Mariani.

When Justin received the rolled-up document, the audience erupted in cheers, praising his dedication not only to support Mariani, but to attend every class he attended while in school.

Justin holding his diploma on the graduation stage
Justin holding his diploma on the graduation stage

Seton Hall University/Christine Foley, from Storyful

Mariani graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She said her goal is to teach primary and special education, the college told CBS News. Justin has been by her side ever since she got her through the Long Island nonprofit Canine Companions for Independent.

Justin, who graduated from college with honors at just 6 years old, is a yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever mix.

Seton Hall’s graduation also included speeches from former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia, Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church Boris Guzyak.

This year, the university graduated a total of 2,337 students. Including Justin brings him to 2,338.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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