Mother and Daughter Celebrate Special Mother's Day Graduation

April 13, 2010

This past Mother's Day, Alliance natives Lorie and Jessica Miller made each other proud. Both mother and daughter graduated from Mount Union College.

"I'm really excited that I shared this day with my mom," Jessica says. They continued a tradition of sorts because Lorie's husband, Jeffery, graduated from Mount Union in 1990.

For Lorie, graduation has been a long time coming. She started her program as a non-traditional student in 1992. Along with completing her studies she also has worked at Mount Union as the director of the Dowling Mentor Program for twelve years.

Lorie believes that she was destined to be at Mount Union. "I was walking around campus on the day I was hired and I found a penny. Then, I knew I was supposed to be here."

Jessica had always been around the College because of "mom's job," and eventually ended up attending. Lorie remembers encouraging Jessica to look around at other schools to be certain her decision was the right one for her.

They researched other schools and went on campus visits, but Jessica was soon convinced that Mount Union was where she wanted to be. A conversation that Jessica had with Moses P. Jones-Lewis (Trey Lewis), former assistant director of admissions for Mount Union, helped her to make a decision.

"I told him about all of the positive things I was looking for in a school, and he told me I had just described Mount," she says.

As a student, Lorie was dedicated to her studies, but she was also mindful of her family responsibilities. "I chose to take one class a semester because my family and job came before classes," she says.

For Jessica, being a Dowling Mentor was a very meaningful experience. She was able to work with her mother and fellow Mount Union students to motivate and inspire young people. "I learned a lot spending time with someone who lives a different life from the one I know."

Jessica admits that it will be hard for her to leave Mount Union behind. Lorie asks her jokingly if her "blood will still be purple." After graduation, she plans on attending the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University. She wants to become a registered pharmacist and own her own pharmacy in the future.

As director of the Dowling Mentor Program, Lorie knows that she serves as a role model for many students. "I'm glad that I'm living the advice that I give to students," she says.

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