EMU ensured student got cap and gown after house fire

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University stepped in to help a student who lost her cap, gown and stole in a fire just a few days before graduation.

Kiara Phelps became the first person in her family to get a college degree Sunday. But the milestone was tempered by a fire that started in the kitchen and destroyed her family’s townhouse.

EMU spokesman Geoff Larcom says the university replaced the graduation wear. Phelps also met President James Smith and the university’s governing board at a lunch and was publicly recognized by Smith at graduation.

Phelps says she worked hard for six years to get a bachelor’s degree with honors.