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Ian cancels Wake Forest graduation, but doesn't stop one family from celebrating

The Bradshaw family were already on their way to see their son graduate from Wake Forest's MBA program Saturday when the campus closed.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Despite severe weather forcing Wake Forest University to close campus and cancel events Friday and most of Saturday, one family coming down from Pittsburgh for a graduation decided to make the most of the rainy situation. 

The Bradshaw family was driving from Pittsburgh to Winston-Salem Friday to see their son Patrick graduate from WFU's Masters of Business program. The family was about two hours from the Piedmont Triad when they heard the news.

"I was driving, my daughter was in the backseat and she goes 'uh oh,' and of course, when you hear 'uh oh' you’re like what? She (said) graduation's canceled," said Matt Bradshaw, Patrick's father.

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For Patrick, the cancelation was a disappointment on top of other challenges throughout the MBA program. However, he said, some of his other classmates had family coming into Winston-Salem from out of the country. 

"It will stick out in the mind," said Patrick. "(I was) supposed to graduate (and it was canceled). (I) went through the program during COVID, so there was a ton of different things that happened during the program and this just put the icing on top of the cake if you will."

Patrick's family said there wasn't any hesitation as to whether they would still visit, even without the ceremony. 

"There was no decision, we were gonna come anyway and celebrate with him and (celebrate) his accomplishments. So there was really no thought about ever turning around and going home," said Matt.

Matt said it has become harder to get the family together as the years go by so when they have the opportunity, they take it. 

"Anytime we can do that, we’ve got plans, we make it happen," Matt said.

The family plans to go to a celebration for Patrick and enjoy the area over the weekend. 

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