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Mom Surprised By Diploma After Helping Her Quadriplegic Son Through Graduate School

By Aimee Lutkin

On May 20th, Marty O’Connor was awarded his MBA at Chapman University, according to KDVR. After receiving his diploma, Marty's mother, Judith O'Connor, was called out by the announcer as a "special individual" and asked to stand up. 

Judith has accompanied Marty to every single one of his classes to assist him in his education after an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. Faculty had decided to award Judith with an honorary degree, which they gave her as a surprise during the ceremony:

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Source: KDVR

The announcer choked up as they said, "Mrs. Judith O’Connor has attended all the classes with her son Marty. She has taken notes and worked with Marty throughout his academic career.” 

It was apparently Marty's suggestion that his mother be honored, but the university was happy to comply, having become very familiar with the sight of Judith pushing her son from class to class. Judith has worked as a teacher her whole life, and says she'd always assumed that if she earned her Master's it would be in education, but an MBA is a huge honor.