Celebrating a milestone became an even better memory for one Oklahoma State University business student as she prepared to receive her diploma Saturday.
At a ceremony for the OSU Spears School of Business graduates prior to the commencement ceremony, student Lauren Reid received a surprise visit from Sgt. Chris Upshaw, her older brother.
Unexpectedly, Reid was asked to come up to the stage to be recognized.
“I had no idea,” she said. “I was actually saying to a guy as I was coming on stage, ‘What’s going on? What are we doing here? I don’t know what’s going on.’”
As she was brought onstage, she was asked which of her family was here to celebrate the day. She was then informed that a surprise guest had made it to attend. Upshaw then came from the corner of the room, prompting Reid to give her older brother a hug.
When asked what her plans were following graduation Saturday, she said she had an after party planned.
“But basically after that, it’s going to be a day of hanging out, especially going and doing things with him,” she said. “It will be amazing.”
Upshaw is stationed in Guam. According to an OSU press release, he missed Reid’s graduation from Perry High School while he was stationed in Iraq.
“Although there is an eight-year gap between my sister and me, we are very close,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with my family and am blessed to have a sibling that is as loving and caring as she is. She has been very supportive of everything that I have done in life and I want her to know how proud I am to have her graduate college. She was able to attend my graduation from basic training and now it’s my turn to show her the same support.”
The two last saw each other in December. Upshaw began the process of planning his attendance in March, he said. He said he was worried that social media may ruin the surprise.
“I was so worried about Facebook,” he said.
With that in mind, Upshaw said many friends and family didn’t know he had returned, keeping the surprise to a select few. The surprise was a success in Reid’s mind.
“It was definitely a surprise,” she said. “I don’t like to cry and I cried.”