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(June 14, 2001, Gazette)

Family affair

By Jean Graham

Mother and daughter, Gladys (L) and Nicole Street graduated on the same day.
Photo by Jean Graham

Mother and daughter, Gladys (L) and Nicole Street graduated on the same day.

A convocation is a big event in any family. When two family members receive university degrees at the same time, the event is even bigger. And when those two family members are mother and daughter — well, the day is unmatchable.

At the Friday (June 1) afternoon session of this year’s convocation, Nicole (Nikki) and Gladys Street received bachelor’s degrees. Nikki had completed the honours recreation program, receiving the University Medal for Academic Excellence, while her mother Gladys was awarded the Bachelor of Special Education degree.

For Gladys (nee Colbourne), her Memorial time was a return to the campus where she earned her BA (Ed.) almost 25 years ago. She comes from a family of 15 children, 13 of whom have completed university or other post-secondary education. You may have seen them featured on Here and Now some years back. Since her original 1977 graduation, she has discovered that working with challenging needs students was “the area that I enjoy the most.”

She decided to complete the specialized degree, beginning with three distance education courses from Athabasca University. She spent summer and fall 2000 in St. John’s. She confesses to being a little nervous about returning to the other side of the classroom; she was “worried about the age difference at first” but soon discovered she was more comfortable than she’d ever thought possible. She described the faculty as “helpful and — well, wonderful.”

Daughter Nikki also had praise for her instructors. While she started out planning to follow her parents’ career path as a teacher, she switched to the B.Rec. program once she realized that “all of my interests and summer jobs had been in that area.”

She’s hoping to stay in the St. John’s area to work, and said “my education is not over.” She plans to work for a few years, and then decide whether her master’s degree will be in the recreation or the business side of her undergrad studies.

Randy Green, father of Nikki and spouse of Gladys, is also a MUN alumnus, holding education degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s level. Both he and Gladys commented on the enormous changes the campus has seen since the early 1970s.

At least one thing remains the same, though — the name of the student pub. “We actually met at the Breezeway,” he said. Were they planning to check out the new facility?

“Maybe,” said Gladys. “You never know.”

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