It was a big weekend for a University of St. Thomas graduate student.
Zeinab Abdalla gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Friday, then — not even 24 hours later — she walked in St. Thomas’ graduate commencement in St. Paul to receive her master’s degree.
The school tweeted Abdalla’s accomplishment in a post that’s been retweeted hundreds of times.
“I had my baby last night,” she said after walking across the stage. “I’m so happy.”
Abdalla received her master’s in education, in the field of autism spectrum disorders. She now plans to get her PhD.
When asked how she managed to make it to the ceremony, after just having a baby, she responded: “It was a struggle but everything is possible. And I believe in St. Thomas’ logo, ‘We can do it together.'”
“I was like, I need to reward myself and to do that I have to walk on the stage, get my degree, throw the cap and enjoy it,” she said.
Abdalla said she gave birth to her daughter around 8 p.m. the night before. And after several long nights of putting in so much hard work, she just knew she had to attend the graduation.
“On Friday morning my water broke and I was telling my husband, ‘My graduation is tomorrow. I wasn’t planning this,'” she said. “And he said, ‘It’s in God’s hands.'”
Abdalla said giving birth to her baby girl was hard at the beginning but “we made it. It went very well.”
The University of St. Thomas’ graduate ceremony