Mom, daughter graduate college on same day

    7:04 PM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - Mothers and daughters often share many bonds. But a unique one came on Saturday at UALR as a mom and daughter from Stuttgart shared the stage at graduation.

    Bethany Hodges and her mother, Dawn-Renee Beeler-Teer, were among the roughly 1,500 graduates from UALR on Saturday. THV 11 had a chance to catch up with the two before, during and after getting that diploma.

    Bethany Hodges helps her mom out with her graduation cap Saturday before a big day for both of them.

    "I am getting a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice," Hodges said.

    "Bachelors of Arts, Professional and Technical Writing," Beeler-Teer said of her degree.  

    They are graduating with different degrees but receiving them on the same day.

    "It's awesome, it's totally awesome," Beeler-Teer said.

    "I'm just really proud of her, she's worked really hard," Hodges said.

    The graduating duo joined hundreds of others in cap and gown during commencement at UALR, each anxiously waiting for "their moment" crossing the stage. For Hodge's mother, Saturday's graduation marked more than three decades since she first started taking college classes.

    "I got married and decided I was going to start a family and moved to Texas and so I had to quit," Beeler-Teer said.

    But the 51-year-old promised her father that she'd finish school one day. And after her last child went off to college, she said that it was her time to return.

    "I didn't have anything else to do," Beeler-Teer said with a laugh. "I didn't have any kids to take care, no grandbabies."

    She's getting back into the game, with her daughter along for the ride.  

    "I think that we were able to work with other and help each other, we had a few classes together because our minors are the same," Hodges said.

    "It went great, it really did," Beeler-Teer said. "We're real lucky; we have a really good relationship like that."

    With diplomas now in hand, you can bet how they're feeling.

    "A sigh of relief!" Hodges said.

    "It feels great!" Beerler-Teer said.

    As for Hodges, she also made a return to school after getting her associates degree awhile back. She's been juggling a full-time job in Stuttgart while getting her bachelor's degree and says she did many of her classes online.

    Both graduates say that they are still figuring out their next steps with their new degrees. After Saturday's graduation, they had lunch with family and headed back to Stuttgart.


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