Amiyah Preston, GSU grad honors sister
Governors State University’s (GSU) graduate, Amiyah Preston, held a portrait of her sister as she crossed the stage at the 2023 Commencement ceremony. Her sister, Chicago Police Officer Areanah Preston, was slain in a senseless act of violence exactly one week prior to graduation ceremonies planned for both sisters.
Amiyah, a striking beauty just like her older sister, walked across the stage, a portrait of Areanah in one hand, her degree in the other. Both sisters were slated to graduate on May 13, 2023; Areanah was to receive her Master of Jurisprudence from Loyola University that morning, and Amiyah was slated to receive her bachelor's degree in Community Health - Health Promotion Across the Lifespan at GSU’s afternoon ceremony.
The Preston family arrived at the Tinley Park Convention Center with a Chicago Police Department escort. The motorcade apparently transported the family from the Loyola ceremony where their mother, Dionne Mhoon, a GSU alum, received Areanah’s degree posthumously.
Dr. Cheryl Green, President of GSU, began her commencement address by recognizing that on the eve of Mother’s Day, some mothers; some families have lost loved ones this year. After honoring the three GSU students lost this academic year, Green turned her attention to the Preston family.
“One mother among us has both sorrow and joy in her heart today; the mother of Amiyah Preston,” said Green. “Amiyah’s sister, Areanah Preston was taken from us much too soon. Her family is here today celebrating the graduation of Amiyah Preston,” Green said to a standing ovation.
“Our hearts are with the Preston family and with all mothers who have lost loved ones,” said Green after a moment of silence to honor all those lost this academic year.
Later, Green met privately with the Preston family to offer words of comfort.