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With the return of The Marilyn Denis Show (weekdays at 10 a.m. ET on CTV) this week comes a new, one-hour special that might just have you reaching for the tissues.

Back To The Beginning: A Marilyn Denis Special takes us on a journey a long time in the making that sees Marilyn return to her alma mater, the University of Idaho, where she receives an honorary doctorate, and delivers the commencement speech to a crowd of 15,000 hopeful graduates.

Making the journey that much more special, Marilyn meets up with old friends from her college years as she readies for the big day, and we’re reminded that those friendships that stand the test of time and distance are some of the sweetest friendships of all.

“It’s going to make you feel good. I think it’s going to make people feel good.”

Emotions run high in the one hour special, with tearful and long awaited reunions between long-time friends Marilyn, Steve and Monie. The 37 intervening years melt away as Marilyn returns to the airwaves with her good friend Steve Shannon, whom she credits with “getting me into radio,” and reunites with college roommate Monie, her “sister” and “forever friend,” with whom she’s shared so much.

There are moments of fun of course–and how couldn’t there be, heading back to the old stomping grounds, the dorm, the corner pub–but it’s the connection with family, and those who, as Marilyn says, “become your family,” that’ll get you.

“I’m so glad I did it and I’m so glad that I got to thank Stephen for getting me into radio, and thank my roommate for being such a good girl, and a forever friend,” Marilyn said. “And get to talk in front of everybody, and feeling the presence of my mom and dad who have since gone, and my late sister. And then having my son there was just amazing for me.”

As Marilyn’s loved ones embrace her, celebrating her accomplishments and the life she’s led thus far, it’s never more obvious that friends and family are everything. It’s a truth made evident by Marilyn’s sister Margaret, who makes it clear that those they had lost were with them in spirit.

“Margaret gets to the essence of what that whole experience was for me and for her,and how my parents, who worked so hard to get us all through university, would have loved that moment,” Marilyn said. “There was a great calm when I sat down to give the commencement speech because I just felt this warmth, that ‘you’re good, you’re good, enjoy it.’ So they were there, very present.”

If you’re not weepy by now, tune in to Back To The Beginning: A Marilyn Denis Special, but don’t say you weren’t well warned.

Missed it the first time? Watch Back To The Beginning: A Marilyn Denis Special online.

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