Dearborn woman accepts college diploma while in labor with her first child

It was an abrupt change all for the mother-to-be

DEARBORN, Mich. – A Dearborn woman walked in her college graduation ceremony Saturday while in labor with her first child.

Kelsey Hudie was determined to walk across that stage, and when Henry Ford College found out what was going on, they sprung into action and called her much earlier in the program.

“I have to tell you, I wasn’t planning to speak this earlier in our commencement,” said Henry Ford College President Russell A. Kavalhuna to hundreds of graduates and their families.

It was an abrupt change all for the mother-to-be. Hudie has been attending the college since 2018 to pursue a liberal arts degree.

“I want to be a teacher in the end, so I’m going to transfer to Eastern,” Hudie said.

She wouldn’t let the birth of her first child delay that dream.

“On the Tuesday before we graduated, they said that I was dilated two or three times, so that wasn’t going to stop me from walking across the stage,” Hudi said. “I even said if I had her before the walk, I was just going to hold her in my arms and walk across that stage.”

Her aunt, who works at the college, got a hold of the administration minutes before the afternoon commencement began, and they had no problem switching the order.

“I hope you will allow me to quickly move through one degree before we do the rest of you all,” Kavalhuna said during the ceremony.

“They all were just so polite,” Hudie said. “I was able to sit on the stage, so I didn’t have to, like, walk up and down a million sets of stairs.”

They called her name; she got her degree with the entire audience cheering and now has a story she will never get tired of telling her baby girl Nyla.

“I don’t really like to make a big show about things, but I figured since they were making a big show about it, I have to finish it,” Hudie said. “I just had to show it off like I finally did it. We finally did.”

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.