CANCER

University holds early graduation ceremony for student whose dad has terminal cancer

  • Jim Brewer, center, sings "The Sprit of Aggieland" during the graduation ceremony for his daughter Jenny Brewer, right, from Texas A&M at his home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin. Brewer, 57, is nearing the end of his struggle with pancreatic cancer, watched his daughter graduate from Texas A&M University,his alma mater. Doctors said Brewer's time is short, Texas A&M brought the ceremony to his home as dozens of relatives, neighbors and friends looked on, many wearing Aggie maroon.

    Jim Brewer, center, sings "The Sprit of Aggieland" during the graduation ceremony for his daughter Jenny Brewer, right, from Texas A&M at his home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin. Brewer, 57, is nearing the end of his struggle with pancreatic cancer, watched his daughter graduate from Texas A&M University,his alma mater. Doctors said Brewer's time is short, Texas A&M brought the ceremony to his home as dozens of relatives, neighbors and friends looked on, many wearing Aggie maroon.  (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

  • Jenny Brewer gets ready for her graduation ceremony at her home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

    Jenny Brewer gets ready for her graduation ceremony at her home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

  • John Hurtado, left, Texas A&M Associate Dean of Engineering Academic and Student Affairs, conducts a graduation ceremony for Jenny Brewer as her father Jim Brewer, right, listens at his home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin.

    John Hurtado, left, Texas A&M Associate Dean of Engineering Academic and Student Affairs, conducts a graduation ceremony for Jenny Brewer as her father Jim Brewer, right, listens at his home in Circle C Ranch Tuesday March 22, 2016 in Austin.  (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Jim Brewer is nearing the end of his battle with pancreatic cancer, but one of his concerns was he wouldn’t live long enough to see his 23-year-old daughter Jenny graduate from his alma mater, Texas A&M University, in May.

But Brewer, 57, didn’t have to wait. That’s because Tuesday, the Aggies brought the ceremony to his Austin, Texas, home, where he got to see his daughter with her cap and gown, amid dozens of friends and family, My Statesman reported.

“One of the last things on my bucket list was to see my daughter graduate, but I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Jim told My Statesman before the 1:30 p.m. ceremony, which took place in front of the family’s home driveway. “Just seeing her get her degree …”

Brewer’s son Nick, 26, came up with the idea. A week prior to the ceremony, he called Daniel Pugh, vice president for student affairs, who is a friend of Nick’s, and asked about the possibility of a home ceremony. Pugh said yes.

“With the experience I’ve had with Texas A&M before and knowing the kind of people they are, I was optimistic,” Nick Brewer told My Statesman. “But to get the response from the people I got it from was pretty cool.”

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As Jim Brewer watched Texas A&M Associate Dean John Hurtado stand at a lectern borrowed from Clayton Elementary School, where Brewer’s wife, Lisa, teaches second grade, he sat in a wheelchair and smiled at Jenny while wiping tears from his face. He held his wife’s hand as Nick, and his other son, Mike, 27, stood behind them.

“I think it’s just amazing everyone showed up,” said Jenny, who is slated to receive her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering on May 12, according to My Statesman. “I just want to thank Texas A&M. The Aggies are awesome.”

The Brewers kept the ceremony a secret from Jim until the day before.

“This is beyond my expectations,” Jim Brewer said.