Service dog receives diploma with owner at New Jersey college graduation

Service dog receives diploma at graduation

Service dog receives diploma alongside owner at college graduation


A service dog named Justin stole the show at graduation this week, when he received a diploma of his very own from the Seton Hall University president.

The video of Justin graduating, which was originally posted by the university on social media, went viral quickly for capturing the very special moment the service animal opened wide to receive his diploma, alongside his owner, Grace Mariani.

The audience cheered loudly as Justin accepted the rolled up document, celebrating his dedication to not only assisting Mariani, but also attending all of her classes during her time at school.

Justin holding the diploma in his mouth on the graduation stage
Justin holding the diploma in his mouth on the graduation stage

Seton Hall University/Kristine Foley via Storyful

Mariani graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Her goal is to teach elementary and special education, the university told CBS News. Justin has been by her side ever since she received him through the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence in Long Island.

Justin, who impressively graduated college at just 6 years old, is a yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever mix.

Seton Hall’s graduation also featured speeches from former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The university graduated 2,337 students total this year — or 2,338, if you count Justin.

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