Grand Forks’ Brook Thate (left) was given a drive-by parade to mark her graduation from the University of Calgary at her parents’ home Thursday, June 10. Seated in her car is Grand Forks’ Sandra Dorgelo. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks’ Brook Thate (left) was given a drive-by parade to mark her graduation from the University of Calgary at her parents’ home Thursday, June 10. Seated in her car is Grand Forks’ Sandra Dorgelo. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks family holds COVID-safe parade for daughter’s university grad

Thursday’s celebration was a small, socially-distanced version of the celebration university grads might’ve had in normal times

A rural Grand Forks family held a special grad parade for their daughter Thursday, June 10.

Twenty-four-year-old Brook Thate and her fellow grads at the University of Calgary (U of C) won’t have a convocation ceremony this year due to COVID-19 constraints. Undaunted, Thate’s mother Monica organized a COVID-safe drive-by parade at her family home on Starchuk Road.

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Wearing her grad gown and mortarboard cap, Brook shared smiles and laughs (but no hugs or handshakes) with people in roughly 30 cars that pulled up to congratulate her.

“When my mom told me this was going to happen, I thought I was just going to stand at the end of the driveway and have people drive by. But it’s been so much more personal,” Brook told The Gazette.

Brook was joined by her brother and sister, Stephen and Sarah, her dad, Brian, and her grandparents Ella Thate and Stan Sharkey. Sharkey’s departed wife Leona was present in spirit.

“It was her dream for me to graduate university,” Brook said.

She leaves the U of C with two degrees, a Bachelor of Education with a focus on special education and a Bachelor of Sociology with a focus on Criminology.

University of Calgary grad Brook Thate (left) poses for a photo alongside Cindy and Aaron Anthony at Brook’s drive-by parade Thursday, June 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

University of Calgary grad Brook Thate (left) poses for a photo alongside Cindy and Aaron Anthony at Brook’s drive-by parade Thursday, June 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Brook hopes to go into teaching, explaining that she’d pursued special education because, “Growing up, we always had special needs adults with us, so it’s just a natural part of who I am.”

“Out of all the classrooms, that one is the one that’s an extension of me. It just feels right,” she added.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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Graduation 2021Grand Forks