A Grambling State University graduating student died on the eve of the fall 2012 commencement. Michael R. Hubbard Jr., 25-years-old, died in a fatal car accident in December.
Some students discovered the news about Hubbard Jr. passing through social media site Facebook. Many other students, faculty members and graduating students’ family members were shocked and sadden to hear the news as it was announced during the opening of the commencement exercise following a prayer.
Commencement participants and goers were in awe when they heard Hubbard Jr.’s father would be accepting his son’s degree.
When the time came for his father to accept his degree, Michael R. Hubbard Sr., gave a few short remarks and the school presented him and his wife with a dozen white roses. The graduation participants and goers gave a standing ovation in honor and respect for Hubbard Jr.’s parents having the strength to walk across the stage and accept their son’s degree, which was a bachelors of science in nursing.
When asked what it meant for Hubbard Sr. to be able to accept his son’s degree he said, “That was a big deal to me because I knew how hard he had worked for it. The whole family and everybody involved in his life were looking forward to that. When the time came he couldn’t do it, so I felt like I just needed to do it. It made me feel good, it made me feel proud, and I feel indebted to Grambling for letting me do it.”
Hubbard Jr.’s funeral was held the following weekend along side best friend Andrew J. Perkins, who died Dec. 16 from injuries sustained in the car accident. Perkins was an alumnus of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and he held a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in chemistry.
The funeral was held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Shreveport where both men attended and Hubbard Jr., was the drummer.
The church was filled to capacity causing several people to not be able to come inside, but they still showed their love and support for both men and families from outside of the church.
In honor of Hubbard Jr., three resolutions were presented. The first resolution was from Grambling’s nursing department for his hardworking and completion of the program.
The second resolution was from Grambling’s Tiger Marching Band for his participation and dedication to the band.
The third resolution was awarded from Grambling’s Epsilon Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity for being an active member and beloved brother.
“It saddens my heart. I remember him posting his graduation pictures and telling everyone that he was graduating,” said Dr. Larry J. Pannell Grambling’s Tiger Marching Band director. “Then all of a sudden he’s gone, but I know he’s in a better place.”
When Hubbard Sr., was asked how all the acts of kindness and love made him feel he said, “That was very heartwarming then and now because a lot of people are still reaching out to me. It’s unbelievable. I didn’t realized how many people Mickey touched and knew in his short lifetime. I am very grateful.”
Now Hubbard Sr., is working to start a scholarship in his son’s name. It will be called the Michael R. Hubbard Jr., BSN, RN Foundation. He plans to offer two scholarships for $1,000 each annually.
One scholarship will be for anyone who wants to go to Grambling and study nursing. The second scholarship will be for any college student that wants to be a music major.
More information will be provided at a later date on how interested parties can participate and upcoming fundraisers.