A professor is being praised for his simple, yet powerful act of compassion towards a students who was struggling to juggle his education with his parenting responsibilities last month.
Whenever he is not holding down two jobs, 26-year-old college senior Wayne Hayer studies kinesiology at Morehouse University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Additionally, he is a father to his 5-month-old daughter named Assata. Though his wife generally stays home to take care of their baby, she was left searching for someone to care for the infant while she ran errands last month.
Hayer had been in his mathematics class when she texted him about watching Assata the following day. Nathan Alexander, the mathematics professor, usually has a strict “no texting” rule in class – but when Hayer explained his dilemma, the 34-year-old educator invited his student to bring Assata to class.
The next day, Hayer dressed his daughter in a pink onesie and brought her to class. Not only was Alexander happy to have the baby join in on the class, he also offered to hold Assata so Hayer could focus on taking notes.
Another one of Alexander’s students, Nick Vaughn, snapped a photo of the professor standing at the whiteboard with the baby strapped to his chest and posted it to social media so he could express his appreciation for the gesture.
“Not only did he teach the entire lecture with the child in his arms, but [he] also stayed after class helping those with questions about today’s lecture with the child still in his arms as seen in the pictures,” wrote Vaughn.
“It was this encounter that truly showed me the power and impact that [historically black colleges and universities] can have for the black community – for this professor to understand that life happens and sometimes there are just no ways around it.”
The president of the college, David Thomas, also praised Alexander for his kindness.
”Dr. Alexander is an example of what our professors are willing to do to help Morehouse College scholars to succeed in their academic pursuits,” Thomas told The Washington Post. “I commend him, and senior Wayne Hayer, the father of the infant, for showing leadership and service, which is part of the mission of Morehouse College, and an expectation of Morehouse Men.”