Just weeks after DeEbony Groves was murdered in a Tennessee Waffle House, her mother took the stage to accept her college diploma.
Groves was honored throughout the emotional ceremony at Belmont University, culminating with her mother, Shirl Baker, accepting her daughter’s bachelor’s degree in social work and Robert Fisher, President of Belmont University, remembering the bright young woman.
"Almost two weeks ago, our community suffered an unimaginable loss," Fisher said. "While our hearts were broken, today we have the chance to celebrate DeEbony's life together."
In his commencement address, Fisher also remembered Groves’ last moments.
"And that's the higher power that inspired the last reported words of DeEbony Groves as she and her friend were singing 'Yes Jesus Loves Me' just before she departed that Waffle House for heaven's gate," he said.
During the bittersweet ceremony, Groves’ brother, Di’Angelo Groves, also received his degree from Belmont University. Prior to DeEbony’s death, the pair had planned to celebrate their accomplishments together, now he’s left to carry on her legacy with his mother.