For graduating senior Jaclyn Aubin, receiving her diploma from Siena College may have been the second most exciting thing to happen to her Sunday.
After shaking hands with college administrators, making her way off the stage onto the floor of the Times Union Center and posing for a photo in front of a Siena-branded screen, Aubin spun around to find her brother, Kyle, who has been stationed at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.
Jaclyn let out a scream in shock, nearly dropped to the ground, and the two embraced — Jaclyn in her cap and gown, and Kyle, an airman, in his military fatigues.
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Pope Air Force Base is at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He last saw his sister in December.
About two months ago, he contacted Siena’s Academic Affairs office to orchestrate the surprise. He arrived at the Times Union Center about 8 a.m. Sunday, roughly two hours before the ceremony began, and hid behind a curtain, out of view.
Kyle and Jaclyn’s parents, who were in on the surprise, had special seating in the front row where they could see the reunion play out.
Jaclyn was the 10th person to have her name called as a graduate of the School of Liberal Arts.
The Aubins grew up in Clarksburg, Massachusetts, where they attended Drury High School in North Adams. Kyle graduated in 2014 from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.