Navy Petty Officer receives special graduation after ship delay

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Navy student received a personalized graduation Tuesday just for him.

He wasn’t able to make National University’s commencement on Saturday because his ship was delayed.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Francis Oladipo, who is based out of San Diego, was disappointed when he learned his ship — the USS Anchorage — was delayed and he wasn’t going to make graduation. His parents had flown in all the way from Nigeria for the ceremony.

But Tuesday, he was given a special day just for him.

Within 24 hours, the Navy and National University pulled together a special graduation ceremony inside the university president’s office, complete with faculty in full graduation dress. 

Francis Olapido’s family and even his shipmates and commandeering officer were able to attend. 

Oladipo was surprised by the extent of the ceremony and said he was hoping for a miracle when he first realized his ship most likely wasn’t going to make it back to San Diego in time for his graduation.

"Miracles can still happen. I told my wife, miracles can still happen and then nothing came, but this happened and I think I have the best graduation alone. I’m having the best moment right now," Oladipo said.

Oladipo received his Master’s Degree in public health. He said he plans to enroll in the officer program for health care administration.

His family flies back to Nigeria Wednesday, so he was grateful the Navy and university made this happen.

Categories: Local San Diego News