Graduation day is a time for those in caps and gowns to reflect on their accomplishments. But Saturday’s ceremony at Texas Southern University will be remembered for one of its uninvited guests: a pet snake named Persia.
Danielle Motley’s attention was drawn away from events on the stage after spotting a reptile wrapped around another graduate’s arm.
“We were packed in there like sardines at this graduation, so there was nowhere to run,” Motley told KTRK-TV, the ABC affiliate in Houston.
Out came the cameras, which focused on Denzel Young and his 3-year-old ball python.
Defending his graduation guest, Young explained to KTRK, “I told everybody this is my graduation, so I’m going to do what I want to do.”
Texas Southern University said it only allows service animals at graduation and that Young must have avoided graduation officials by hiding the reptile under his gown.