Dancer: JSU’s First Graduating Canine

One four-legged graduate, complete with her own cap and gown, will also make the walk across the stage on Friday.  Dancer serves as the seeing-eye dog for Montana Wimberley, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Seeing eye dog Dancer and his person, Montana, on Angle Lawn on graduation dayMontana Wimberley and her seeing-eye dog, Dancer, take a walk across the Angle Hall lawn in their graduation regalia. Both will graduate on Friday, April 29. (Heather Greene/JSU)
After graduating from the Alabama School for the Blind (ASB) and attending ASB’s Gentry program to gain even more independence, Wimberley and Dancer went to Gadsden State Community College (GSCC) for two years before transferring to JSU.
The various doors that a social work degree can open, in addition to her love of helping others, all played a role in Wimberley’s choice to major in social work. Specifically, she is passionate about working in the field of mental health or disability.
When asked how Dancer has enjoyed JSU, Wimberley replied, “Oh, she LOVES it!” Wimberley joked that Dancer, who is loved by all professors, is the mascot of the social work program and seems to instinctively know when class is over. Perhaps Dancer’s favorite part of JSU is the squirrels around campus.
After graduation, Dancer can expect a nice, new bone for her hard work, and Wimberley is looking forward to some down time and wedding planning, as she will be making another important walk this fall.
For their support Wimberley thanked her fiancé, Bryce McGinnis; parents; future in-laws, and the faculty and staff at JSU, GSCC, and ASB. Specifically, she explained that she was deeply touched when JSU surprised her with a graduation gown for Dancer: “You’ve heard the phrase ‘This is the Friendliest Campus in the South,’…actions speak louder than words, and they (JSU faculty and staff) have proven it…I just thought it was very nice, and I really appreciate it.”
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