GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Eyewitness News has been honoring the Class of 2020 throughout May. Rowan University is celebrating its first graduate who has Down syndrome.
“She thinks for herself and does her own thing,” Lin Rubright said. “When she decides to do something, she goes all the way.”
A mom gushing over her daughter’s achievement.
Anna Rose Rubright is a member of Rowan University’s Class of 2020. She is the college’s first graduate who has Down syndrome.
Was there a thought in her mind that she wouldn’t finish with the degree?
“No. I’m a rule follower and I stick to that rule,” she said.
Rubright graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in radio, television and film and a minor in journalism with a 3.426 GPA.
“She wanted to go to college like her friends and she wanted to make that dream a reality,” Lin Rubright said, “so she did.”
Eyewitness News chronicled Anna Rose Rubright’s story a few years ago when she was discriminated against. Her mother says she was just as determined to resolve that issue as she was to finish college.
Back in 2013, Rubright and her boyfriend were separated while watching a movie at AMC Theaters in Marlton. In the aftermath, she worked with the theater group to implement employee training when working with people with cognitive disabilities.
“I just think that sometimes that her dedication inspires the rest of us,” Lin Rubright said.
“Anna Rose proved everybody wrong,” New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said.
Sweeney was the special commencement speaker for the virtual ceremony. His daughter also has Down syndrome.
“Just don’t look at the person and say they’re disabled and they can’t do anything,” Sweeney said. “Look at Anna Rose and look at what they can do.”
“We hope seeing stories like Anna Rose’s that more and more colleges and universities, as well as businesses, will include but also invest in having people with Down syndrome and other disabilities,” Kandi Pickard, with the National Down Syndrome Society, said.
And now that she has her degree, Rubright wants to be an entrepreneur. She’s in the process of establishing her own production company.