Service Dog Receives His Own College Diploma at Owner’s Graduation

Justin, the service dog, participated in a heartwarming tradition alongside his owner. During the graduation ceremony at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Justin proudly walked alongside his graduating owner, Grace Mariani, and received a unique recognition of his own.

As Mariani received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree at the Prudential Center, Justin, her loyal canine companion who had accompanied her to classes throughout college, was surprised with a diploma of his own. Seton Hall President Joseph E. Nyre presented Justin with the honorary diploma, capturing the heartwarming moment in a viral video.

In the touching clip, Justin grasped the diploma with his mouth as the crowd erupted in cheers for both the canine graduate and Mariani. President Nyre raised his hands in celebration of their remarkable achievements.

Justin, who is a service dog and aged 6, became an unexpected holder of a college diploma, impressing many. Fellow alumni and current students of Seton Hall took to Twitter to commend Justin and Mariani for their accomplishments, expressing pride for the furry graduate and describing the video as a truly wonderful moment.

Justin’s achievement is not the only one worth celebrating in the world of service dogs. In October, another remarkable service dog named Joska, a 10-year-old black Labrador retriever, received a special honor of her own.

During a ceremony on the Holland America Line’s Rotterdam ship, Joska was awarded the Platinum Medallion, a prestigious distinction given to guests who have spent over 700 cumulative days on the cruise line’s ships. Joska, the beloved companion of Cornelia “Connie” Marinussen, who is visually impaired, has traveled extensively with her owners, exploring destinations such as Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.

Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha expressed admiration for Joska’s achievements, stating that she is the first service animal to receive such a distinction. He emphasized that Joska holds a special place in the company’s family, brightening the spirits of everyone on board and enabling Connie to pursue her passion for cruising and exploring the world.

Both Justin and Joska serve as shining examples of the incredible bonds between humans and their service animals, reminding us of the extraordinary contributions these remarkable companions make in their owners’ lives.

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