Army dad surprises daughter at college graduation – and the tears flow

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NEW YORK — Columbia Engineering School graduating senior Ruby Robinson had an unexpected surprise at the school’s graduation ceremony during Commencement week.

As Ruby walked across the stage and shook hands with university officials, a familiar man reached for her hand to congratulate her.

It was her dad.

“I love you so much,” Capt. Robinson can be heard telling Ruby as they hugged on stage.

According to the school, the computer science major assumed that her father, U.S. Army Reserve Captain Keith Robinson, who has been deployed for the past six months in Afghanistan, would not be able to attend her graduation while on active duty.

However, Capt. Robinson received a leave from his unit and flew to New York, arriving shortly before the ceremony.

“To have him here in the flesh means so much to me,” Ruby said. “I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t think it was possible. To have your parents at your graduation is a big thing.”

“We talked about two weeks ago and I think we came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to make it,” Capt. Robinson said. “A week ago, my general went to work and started trying to make this happen for me. A 14-hour flight from Kuwait to D.C. and another 3 1/2 hours to Denver. The next day, to turn around and fly here. I haven’t had time to stop and think about it myself. But when I saw her, it was all worth it.”

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