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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Mother-Daughter graduation a family affair

Marsha and Rebecca Francis (L-R), mother and daughter, share a casual moment together before graduate from NMSU on May 15 and their lives will then take them in different directions.

NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan

Marsha Francis used to walk her daughter Rebecca to school 15 years ago in Chicago. On May 15, they will once again walk together as they both receive their diplomas from New Mexico State University.

Marsha is a wife, mother of two and a non-traditional college student who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Rebecca will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism.

"We did everything together as mother and daughter," said Marsha. "I was learning to be a mother and she was a little girl growing up. Graduating together gives us one more chance to do something together," she said.

While taking a full load of classes at NMSU, Rebecca also held down two jobs and did volunteer work.

"The completion of my degree is a matter of endurance," Rebecca said. "I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel."

Marsha's husband, Ray, was a broadcast journalism student at NMSU until October 1998 when he became general manager of KSJE radio at San Juan College in Farmington, N.M.

Having everyone in school at the same time "created a respect for each other in some of the normal daily responsibilities," Ray said.

Besides completing her degree at NMSU, Marsha works for Dominion Home Health and is raising her 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

"I think that's where I get it from, taking on so much (responsibility)," Rebecca said. "Mom's never been one to sit around and not do anything."

Ray said it's special having his wife and daughter graduate together.

"A lot of young people today tend to drift away from the influence of their parents while in college," he said. "In their situation it has helped to maintain a strong influence, while at the same time allowing Rebecca to establish her own personal identity. They both were able to assist each other in their respective areas of strength."

NMSU's commencement will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15, in the Pan American Center.

Kim Krogh
May 4, 1999