UT grad wakesurfed to graduation

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KNOXVILLE, Ten. (WVLT) -- Graduates from the Class of 2020 are learning all about delayed gratification. They'll have to wait to walk across the stage or turn the tassel. For some, the big day was called off entirely.

One Tennessee Volunteer took matters into her own hands, and her mom was there to catch it all on video.

"We definitely have orange blood for sure," Kelly Cassidy said of the family.

Her daughter Katy Cassidy is a newly-minted VFL, which was bound to happen.

"Definitely a family affair," Kelly said. "I grew up going to games with my family when I was little."

From games to Greek life, she's a double major and diploma.

"When she sets her mind to something, she's going to accomplish that," Kelly said.

Katy never got the chance to walk across the stage at Thompson-Boling Arena, so she headed for the water. She switched out the traditional grad gift of flowers for a life jacket.

"Our front seats were a lot better than being in the gym," Kelly said.

"Then my mom would toss my cap and gown like one by one," Katy added.

Somehow the hair and tassel stayed dry as Katy made her Rocky Top victory lap.

"The passing boats were cheering and would follow us down the lake," Katy said.

"We might as well just combine something that I love with my family being able to be there with us."

What's next for the future audiologist? To start, she's trading the Tennessee River for the Mississippi, and grad school in Memphis.

So what happens when Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Vols play Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers?

Katy said, "Oh see, yeah, I'm a Vol For Life. So I choose UT."

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