Mother and Daughter Receive Degrees Together at Mount Union College Commencement

April 13, 2010

What could be more special than mother's day? Perhaps a child graduating from college on Mother's Day? How about a mother and daughter graduating together on Mother's Day? That is exactly what happened for Carolyn and Rebecca Brown.

Carolyn Brown was already looking forward to seeing her daughter, Rebecca, graduate from Mount Union College on this Mother's Day, May 12. However, Rebecca was disappointed because she knew her mother planned to miss her own college graduation at Baldwin-Wallace College to attend the Mount Union graduation.
"I found out last spring that Mount Union and Baldwin-Wallace had graduation scheduled for the same day," said Rebecca. "I knew it wouldn't be fair for her to miss her graduation for mine."

For Carolyn, there was no decision to make. "There was never any doubt in my mind, I was going to Becky's graduation," said Carolyn.

But Rebecca decided that she would try to do something about the situation. She emailed Mount Union President Jack Ewing with what she said she was sure was an unusual request - she wanted her mother to be able receive her Baldwin-Wallace College diploma during the Mount Union commencement ceremonies.

"President Ewing responded and said that, yes, this was an unusual request. But he was glad that I brought it to his attention a year in advance, and he would see what could be done," said Rebecca.

The Tuesday before graduation, she received confirmation that her mother would also receive her diploma on Sunday at Mount Union's commencement. It was only then that Rebecca told her mother what she had done.

"I was not going to tell her beforehand, in case I got her hopes up and we were turned down," said Rebecca.

Carolyn was thrilled. "I was so happy! I would never have believed they would go out of their way like that," she said. "I already had it in my mind - it was a foregone conclusion that I would miss my graduation. I was not upset about it, because Becky's graduation is more important to me, but I am very pleased to be able to have my graduation ceremony."

Rebecca says their graduation is kind of becoming a part of a family tradition. Carolyn graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with an associate's degree the same year as her son graduated from high school. When Rebecca graduated from high school, her father received his associate's degree from Cuyahoga Community College the same year.

Carolyn left college when she met her husband, but there were always plans for her to continue her degree.

"My husband said I was too smart, and when the kids were older I should go back to school," said Carolyn.

Carolyn graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting and business management. She plans to take the CPA exam this fall. She is employed as an accountant at Ravenwood Mental Health Center in Chardon.

Rebecca graduated with a degree in psychology and has already been hired as a case manager for Ravenwood.

"She said she definitely wanted to see me get my degree, since she had worked harder for that than for her own," said Rebecca, laughing. "So, I knew she had already made up her mind that she would miss her graduation. But I knew I had to do something. I just couldn't let it happen!"

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