Graduation Celebration

Graduation was the furthest thing from Sean Ferguson's mind, or his family's, this spring. They were focused on his survival.

Once doctors determined the 23-year-old University of Dayton marketing major from Pittsburgh would survive his injuries from a lightning strike while crossing campus April 8, Ferguson concentrated on walking and talking, and then eventually returning to school.

With determination, faith and the support of the University of Dayton community both near and far, Ferguson came back from the near-fatal accident through a grueling — and now complete — recovery, with humor and gratitude. Now his legs will carry him across the stage at University of Dayton Arena Saturday, Dec. 19, to receive his degree, along with approximately 650 classmates. The University of Dayton's 166th commencement exercises will begin at 9:45 a.m. A live stream of the event can be found here.

Ferguson said he'll leave the University touched by the hundreds of people on campus and from around the country with University of Dayton connections who reached out to him and his family with messages of support, prayer and encouragement.

"These past four months have exemplified why I feel so fortunate and blessed to call myself a Flyer," Ferguson said. "We hear the word community from the second we step onto campus as freshmen. It's just so gratifying to know that when I walk across the stage and shake Dr. Dan's (President Daniel J. Curran) hand, I know that the Flyer community will extend beyond the borders of this campus.

"As members of this community, we are taught to learn, lead and serve to the best of our ability, and I fully intend to carry this mission wherever the road of life takes me."

That road will take him back to Pittsburgh, where he's landed a job with staffing agency Aerotek, to embark on the next chapter of an already remarkable life.

The University also will hold a baccalaureate Mass at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

Complete information about the University of Dayton's 166th commencement exercises can be found here.

More on Sean Ferguson's journey can be found here.  


News and Communications Staff