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Pets Get Their Own Diplomas At This Special College (Photos)

It's that time of year when everyone is sharing heartwarming graduation stories, but we guarantee this is the cutest one of them all. Going to college used to be a pretty demanding experience. It involved staying up late to hit the books and eating lots of cheap ramen noodles, but today lots of colleges offer all the luxuries of home.

Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida even lets students bring their pets to live with them on campus.

In fact, every year the school holds a special ceremony for the pets of graduating students, to thank them for supporting their owners.

Lisa Presnail

Lisa Presnail
Lisa Presnail
Lisa Presnail

Since the tradition started in 2013, the school says more than 190 animals have "graduated" from the school. This year's graduating class of 30 pets includes dogs and cats (of course) but also a guinea pig, snake and rats.

First there was a reception with treats for the pets, then speeches from the school chaplain and president. Finally, each pet got to cross the stage with their owner to take a photo with the president. They also received a certificate, a college ID and a cap and gown.

When Eckerd started allowing pets on campus in the 1970s they were the first college in the country to do so. The school's dean of students told the Dodo it's part of the college's focus on "living in responsible empathy with all beings, including animals."

Eckerd College

Lisa Presnail

Eckerd students are allowed to keep 1 "large" animal (like a dog or cat) or 2 small ones.

According to one of this year's graduating students, the ceremony is a great way to honor the pets and the school's tradition.

“We are all dorks who love animals and we want to celebrate their wonderful companionship throughout one of the weirdest times in our lives," she said.

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