The mother, Havva, read all of the notes and books throughout her daughter's four-year degree course.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 1, 2022. It has since been updated.
The image of a mother and a daughter walking up to the stage at Sakarya University in Turkey is winning people's hearts. When Berru Merve Kul, a visually impaired 22-year-old woman, walked onto the stage during the graduation ceremony, the staff at the university also invited her mother, Havva. They felt she deserved to be up there as well, after reading her daughter's lecture notes to her during her four-year course in law and helping her with homework as well, reported BBC News. The university didn't have the resources or the infrastructure to help visually impaired students. Havva wanted her daughter to graduate and knew she had to be there by her side every day to help her.
The University of Sakarya awarded Merve Kul her graduation certificate after she studied for four years in college and gave her mother, Havva Kul, an honorary graduate certificate for her dedication and commitment to her daughter's graduation through the four years. Professor Mahmut Bilen, who presented the award to Berru Merve Kul and her mother Havva, praised the girl's mother.
With the university not equipped with reading material in Braille or audio sources in libraries and computer rooms, graduation seemed a distant dream for Berru Merve Kul, who hails from Kocaeli, Turkey. Striving to open more doors to a brighter future for the daughter, her mother read all of her notes and books and guided her throughout. Havva joined her daughter and countless other students in throwing their caps in the air to celebrate their graduation. The SAU Faculty of Law Dean Professor Dr. Mahmut Bilen shared the heartwarming news on Twitter.
2017-2018 Hukuk Fakültesi Mezuniyet Töreni 4 Temmuz 2018 Çarşamba günü Prof. Dr. Sabahattin Zaim Konferans Salonunda gerçekleştirilmiştir. pic.twitter.com/UuxzHq5et4— Sakarya Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi (@HukukSakarya) July 5, 2018
The news was also shared on Reddit, where the heartwarming story was upvoted almost 60,000 times. "Very sweet that they got to graduate together. Great dedication from mom to read with her every day for 4 years," wrote one person. Some others chimed in and said that it wasn't as simple as just reading the lectures and notes but also involved understanding them herself before explaining them to her daughter. "There's no way you could do that without absorbing a whole lot of it. And that stuff is dense, it's often a challenge just to read and comprehend, let alone analyze and interpret," commented one user. "This is definitely an honorary degree that was actually earned," another person chimed in.
The image of the two of them on stage was also shared on Instagram. One person commented, "Because of mom's support, this girl is going to do some amazing things in life! Kudos to BOTH of you beautiful women!" Another user added, "There is no force stronger than a mother’s love." One person called on the university to provide resources for visually impaired students. "Publishers need to provide accessible / screen readable textbooks so all students can access the material. This student has a rockstar mama. Not everyone does," they wrote. Another user wrote, "Amazing mom, but she shouldn’t have to do that. If this is in America, ADA should’ve covered audiobooks for her daughter!"