On Thursday, one of the best stories of the year will happen right in front of thousands of students graduating from the College of Liberal Arts.
Rachel Hall, a former Temple lacrosse player who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident April 29, 2015 that left her with severe injuries including brain damage, will walk across the stage at the Liacouras Center to receive her diploma in criminal justice and sociology.
Her recovery has been a long one—after spending about three weeks at Temple University Hospital, Hall spent months at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, where her brain underwent a “storming” period, as it was slowly healing itself, said her mother, Kathy Hall.
Kathy told The Temple News that this past year was the worst of her life. Doctors initially gave Rachel three days to live—but a year later, she has made tremendous strides, and is now able to both walk and talk following a horrific accident.
“If someone said she would’ve been sitting here, I would not have expected it,” Kathy said Saturday. “It was so traumatic seeing her in the hospital, there’s machines keeping her alive, helping her breathe and I just would have never expected this outcome in a year. But it all is Rachel’s determination.”
Every year, commencement speakers and proud professors will attempt to inspire the university’s freshest crop of graduates to do great things. This year, those graduates will need to look no further than Rachel Hall, her family and her friends.
The reason we idolize notable alumni like Kevin Negandhi, Bob Saget, Tamron Hall and several others is because they show us what is possible after our experience at Temple.
Hall fought for her life, and will now have her degree to show for it.
Even if you won’t be in attendance for graduation, her survival should make you, and the entire university, proud.