LaDyra Lytegraduate of Central Michigan University, received an unforgettable surprise as she took the stage at her commencement ceremony on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Southfield native was about to be declared an official graduate when the university president unveiled a special letter from Lyte’s brother. LaDaryl Lyte has been deployed for nearly a year with the U.S. Army Reserve, hello america reported. Her sister couldn’t hold back her tears as the letter was read aloud on her behalf.
“I want you to tell my sister how proud I am, how gracious she is, how superlative she is and I know she is going to do amazing things in her life,” LaDaryl wrote. “She’s one in a million with a special knack for knowing how to get ahead.”
The new grad was center stage as her brother emerged from the crowded auditorium behind her. The surprise on LaDyra’s face was priceless and the tears overflowed.
“For a moment I thought I was dreaming,” LaDyra Lyte told GMA. “I just felt really overwhelmed, in a good way.”
The disbelief stems from the fact that LaDaryl was unable to attend his sister’s graduation in 2017 due to basic training duties. But he made sure that LaDyra’s college graduation would go with a bang once he was cleared to leave.
With the help of school officials, LaDaryl was told he could be part of the graduation.
“They asked me to show up for graduation two hours early so they could hide upstairs so my family wouldn’t see me,” he said. “The night before I couldn’t even sleep because I was nervous, so I was basically up for about 36 hours doing this surprise.”
He continued: “I got about 10ft from my sister and heard my family start screaming and then the whole crowd started screaming and cheering. After that it was a bit of a blur because my adrenaline was rising.
LaDyra Lyte graduated in merchandising and fashion design. She aspires to attend higher education and pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer.
Her designs were featured on the graduation gown she wore. LaDayra intended to pay tribute to the lives of black people caught up in the hands of racial injustice. Names printed on her dress included Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor.
“I wanted to honor every black or brown individual who died too soon due to police brutality and wanted them to walk through the scene with me,” LaDyra Lyte said. “So graduation wasn’t really for me. I wanted to make sure it was for everyone in my community, to let them know that I see them too.