Belmont University

Belmont University Graduation Ceremony Tributes Woman Lost Weeks Prior During Waffle House Shooting

May 07, 2018 - 12:52 pm

By Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Belmont University’s graduation ceremony as Shirl Baker walked across the stage to accept a diploma on behalf of her late daughter DeEbony Groves who was killed when a gunman opened fire at a Waffle House in Nashville on April 22, 2018.

"Almost two weeks ago, our community suffered an unimaginable loss," said Robert Fisher, President of Belmont University. "While our hearts were broken, today we have the chance to celebrate DeEbony's life together."

As Baker went up to accept her daughter’s diploma in social work alongside her son, who was also awarded a degree, the pair received a standing ovation from the crowd.

The emotional moment wasn’t lost on anyone; university president Fisher said the ceremony was a chance to celebrate DeEbony’s life with the school also renaming a social work scholarship in her honor to ensure her legacy lives on. 

To donate to the DeEbony Groves Social Work Diversity Endowed Scholarship, visit HERE