Miami, Fla – Barry University President Dr. Mike Allen, joined in a surprise celebration to honor the achievements of seven local high school graduates.

The students attended North Miami Senior High School, William H. Turner Technical Arts High School, and Henry D. Perry Education Center.

The outdoor event, held with social distancing rules in effect, began with a celebratory caravan, followed by a full program including prayer, singing, and Allen’s address.

Allen spoke to the graduates about the critical importance of leadership and accepting social responsibility at this point in our nation’s history, as well as the perseverance required of each of them to make it to graduation during the pandemic.

“This will serve you especially well in the future,” he said. “It will help you approach this next stage of your life with energy and resolve, with a reminder that even when things are turned completely upside down, you have it within you to forge ahead.”

Each student got a traditional graduation moment, with names read aloud and Allen handing out certificates the families had printed.

One of the graduates honored at the event is the daughter of a Barry employee and will attend Barry University in the fall.

The celebration took place on Saturday, ahead of the official virtual graduation for William H. Turner Technical Arts High School students and others.