By Ernisha Hall of VA Black Business Directory

 May 25, 2020

On Saturday May 9, 2020, the parents of Sydney Murray displayed their parental pride celebrating the success of their daughter.


Robert & Shondella Murray planned a community graduation commencement in Spotsylvania County Virginia. They transformed their front porch into a stage, with black and gold piping, a podium, a microphone, and streamers with words of affirmation. Friends & Family watched as Sydney marched to the graduation song,  “Pomp and Circumstance”

Graduation in Spotsylvania
Image by hannah grace
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Not only could Sydney’s smile be seen by their neighbors, friends and family who sat in their decorated cars, they were entertained as Sydney beautifully sang the National Anthem as part of her commencement ceremony.  Dressed in graduation regalia, Sydney received her degree; a Bachelor of Arts from VCU. She majored in International Studies with a concentration in Social Justice, accomplishing a GPA of 3.8. This was not only a celebration of Sydney’s accomplishment; it was a celebration of life.

Sydney Murray.jpg

During her commencement speech, Sydney wanted everyone to remember “be true to yourself, be kind to others, stay focused, and pass no judgment. You have found your voice in more ways than one. Continue to do great work. Not just in your community, but in the world", a quote by Rhonda Green. The ceremony was complimented with a parade of decorated cars, honking horns, dropping off gifts, blowing socially distant kisses, and leaving party favors aligning the street. 

Despite this pandemic, Sydney’s parents wanted her to know graduating Magna Cum Laude was a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated! Sydney's mother, the owner of Della Marie Events, used her skills as an event planner, to ensure her daughter received a memorable commencement. 


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