Kirby’s father, 1993 UNG alumnus Army Col. Norman “Chip” Kirby Jr., made a surprise visit to watch Taylor graduate, thanks to a short leave from active-duty military service in the Middle East. With assistance from UNG staff and his wife Jan, also a 1993 graduate, Kirby surprised Taylor and the rest of his family just before the ceremony. Taylor stepped into her father’s embrace and began crying tears of joy.
“I’m excited to graduate anyway,” Taylor Kirby said. “And then he gets to be here.”