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Long Beach Titan has Graduation Celebration on her Front Lawn

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After missing her high school graduation four years ago, Long Beach resident Kaitlin Buxton was counting the days until she had another chance to walk the stage at her graduation from Cal State University Fullerton this spring. Then the coronavirus pandemic prompted schools across the country to cancel their traditional ceremonies.

Buxton was devastated, having earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Human Communication Studies. But her mother, Kim Brink, wasn’t going to let her accomplishments go unrecognized.

A graduation ceremony — complete with a stage, live music and an appearance from Jon Bruschke, Fullerton’s head of Human Communication Studies — was held on Buxton’s front lawn Saturday, May 23. Family, friends and neighbors attended the ceremony while observing social distance practices.

“She was so upset. She skipped her high school graduation to attend Fullerton’s registration day with the thought that she’d get another day to walk in a few years,” Kim said. “So when Dr. Bruschke sent out the email offering to attend small ceremonies I got to planning this in five days.”

At around 4 p.m., “The Graduation March” began to play as Buxton walked down the sidewalk to the stage built in her driveway. The small crowd in attendance held signs and cheered loudly.

“Fullerton was the best four years of my life. I really found myself there,” Buxton said. “Being apart of my sorority, volunteering and representing my chapter were some of the most rewarding experiences.” Continue reading in the Press-Telegram