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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Go Inside Riley Burruss' Next-Level College Graduation Party (PICS)

The RHOA daughter celebrated the milestone surrounded by friends, family, and a handful of Bravolebrities. 

By Joshua Espinoza
Growing Up Bravo: Riley Burruss

It was a week of celebrations for Kandi Burruss.

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On the eve of Mother’s Day 2024, The Real Housewives of Atlanta mom hosted an extravagant college graduation party for her oldest daughter, Riley Burruss. The event was held at the Self Made Studio venue in Atlanta, just days before Riley hit the New York University commencement stage.

Attendees included Kandi’s husband and Riley’s stepdad, Todd Tucker; Riley’s stepsister, Kaela Tucker; and family matriarch Mama Joyce Jones. Of course, there were a few Bravolebrities in the mix, like RHOA’s Porsha WilliamsEva MarcilleShamea Morton, and Monyetta Shaw-Carter, all of whom were treated to custom drinks, live music, and cupcakes decorated with Riley's photos.

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Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker celebrate Riley Burruss' NYU graduation

RHOA's Riley Burruss celebrates college graduation

The event space was completely decked out in NYU colors, violet and white, and featured multiple banners honoring Riley’s achievement. One of the posters showed a younger Riley in a power pose with the words “Day 1 CEO” written above. There was also a large photo wall that showed Riley rocking NYU-branded gear as well as her cap and gown. 

RHOA's Riley Burruss celebrates college graduation

“We are so appreciative of our village and for those who supported Riley,” Kandi said during a speech before turning her direction to Riley. “You finished what you started, you know what I mean? A lot of people don’t do that. You started college and you finished… You did it. And [Riley’s] not one of those people that I had to call, checking on her all the time, being like, ‘Did you do your homework?’ She did it on her own… I am proud of you.”

RHOA's Riley Burruss celebrates college graduation

Todd, who married Kandi in 2014, echoed his wife. 

“Riley, I am so, so proud of you. Always been a brilliant kid, always been smart,” he said. “You were born to do this, so congratulations. [You] graduated college and I’m excited to see your next chapter.”

Riley Burruss says she's pursuing a career in music business

Riley Burruss smiling in a black outfit.

The RHOA daughter announced her college acceptance in late 2019, months before her high school graduation. Riley said she had applied to other schools around the country, but NYU was her first choice.

“Well, I feel ecstatic,” Riley said in a 2019 video posted on her YouTube channel. “I mean, it was the only school I really even wanted to go to. I only even thought of applying to other schools as backup plans. That was the only school in my mind. So just to see that I got in and it’s for sure and I can just go and be on my path, I’m very excited.”

Riley began her college journey studying nutrition, but eventually changed her major to music business. She spoke about her career aspirations during a 2022 episode of the AOL web series In the Know, explaining why she was so drawn to the entertainment biz.

“I feel like I’m in my rebranding era, to be honest,” she said. “I want to work in the music industry, on the business side… Of course, [my mom] played a huge role in that, just growing up, seeing her do music, and then also work on the backend. Just seeing her do everything by herself and just killing it is what inspired me.”

Riley Burruss reflects on post-college life: "So much pressure"

@rileyburruss last semester of my senior year at NYU has officially started😩 it feels like just yesterday I moved to new york #nyclife #nyu #newyorkuniversity #senioryear #grwmforschool ♬ original sound - Riley Burruss

Riley reflected on her college experience back in February when she was preparing to kick off her last semester as an undergraduate.

“Time has litterally flown by,” she said in a TikTok video. “This past senior year has just been so confusing. It’s, like, OK, I’m doing the school work [and] having to figure out the future after school, it’s a lot. I lowkey feel like I have attachment issues with school because since I’ve never been without it, it’s like, I don’t even know what I’m gonna do. It’s genuinely gonna feel so weird." 

She continued: “Right now it feels like so much pressure to choose a lifelong thing. I know I’m gonna work with music and everything but to find one specific route, it’s just… I know a lot of us seniors are stressing right now, but it’s OK, we got this. We just gotta take deep breaths and we’re gonna get through this.”

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