Rachel Boyer graduation

Rachel Boyer reacts to people driving by her Elysburg home to congratulate her on graduating college Saturday afternoon.

ELYSBURG — A 22-year-old Elysburg woman, who was scheduled to graduate with her classmates Saturday from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), received the thrill of a lifetime when family members, friends and co-workers processed in motor vehicles by her house to honor the summa cum laude student.

“It’s been a long journey but I’m so grateful and lucky that my family and friends would do something like this for me,” said Rachel Boyer, of 35 Bucks Road, whose family has traveled throughout the world due to her father’s 26-year U.S. Army career.

Graduation ceremonies at IUP and other colleges throughout the country were postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So instead of walking across a stage to receive her diploma, Boyer, who majored in pre-law/criminology at IUP, waved and spoke to motorists Saturday afternoon as they honked their horns in tribute to the future lawyer who was adorned in her cap and gown.

Members of the motorcade consisting of a dozen vehicles extended congratulations and presented roses to Boyer as she greeted them from her front lawn with her parents, Jeff and Maria (Jacoski) Boyer, by her side.

One of the motorcade participants was state Rep. Kurt Masser, of Elysburg, who congratulated Rachel and presented her with a card.

Although she was disappointed about being unable to participate in commencement ceremonies, Rachel said IUP officials made a valiant effort to make sure all the graduates are honored. She plans to join her classmates at a Sept. 12 graduation ceremony.

“I am very appreciative to my parents, relatives, friends and co-workers at Knoebels Amusement Resort who made today very special,” Rachel said. “My family has always been very supportive and I’m not surprised they made this happen.”

Rachel, who completed an internship in Washington, D.C., hopes to attend graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C., or Drexel University in Philadelphia.

The well-traveled young woman was born in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She also has lived in Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Monroe, Virginia; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Rheindahlen, Germany; Fairfax, Virginia; Seoul, South Korea; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Arlington, Virginia; and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

She attended the Department of Defense School in Seoul, South Korea, and a British elementary school in Germany, where she developed a British accent as a young girl.

Rachel and her 26-year-old sister, Brooke (Boyer) Fisher, of Fort Drum, New York, both graduated from Mechanicsburg High School. Brooke is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Her husband, Jeremiah, is a U.S. Army soldier.

Jeff Boyer retired from the Army in 2013 as a colonel and his family moved to Elysburg in 2017.

Maria Boyer is a Shamokin native and graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School, while her husband is from Northumberland and graduated from Shikellamy High School.

Rachel’s parents met at their alma mater at Bloomsburg University.

Rachel is a granddaughter of Rosemary Jacoski, of Shamokin, and Betty Boyer, of Northumberland. Her grandfathers were the late Edward Jacoski, who was a U.S. Navy veteran, and Robert Boyer, who was a retired U.S. Air Force captain.

Rachel’s parents expressed great pride in both their daughters and said they wanted to make sure Rachel was honored in a special way for her college achievements on her scheduled graduation day.

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