By CHARLIE BIER
Vanessa Adamson, her daughter Avery and her son Brock made the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Fall 2018 Commencement ceremonies on Friday a family affair.
They were each awarded degrees.
Vanessa earned a master’s degree in criminal justice. Avery earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies. Brock earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“It’s a memory we will always share,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix, began pursuing her master’s degree at UL Lafayette in Spring 2017. She is director of the University’s Office of Community Service. Avery and Brock enrolled at UL Lafayette in Fall 2014.
“As soon as they were in college and settled, I began making plans to go back to school,” Vanessa said.
Soon after the three realized it was possible they could all graduate this semester, Brock and Avery began tweaking their schedules.
They took courses during summer semesters in order to align their anticipated graduation dates with Vanessa’s.
“I took six credit hours two summers in a row just to make sure we would all be able to graduate together,” Brock explained.
Avery said striving for a common finish line created pressure beyond completing assignments and taking exams.
“There were times when we were like, ‘I don’t know if this is all going to work out.’ But we made it,” she said.
To reach their goal, mother, daughter, and son leaned on each other.
Vanessa often steered her children to halls and classrooms when they arrived on campus as a freshman, for example. Avery said the guidance helped because she was “overwhelmed” during her first semester.
“She would drop me off just to show me where buildings were.”
Despite never taking the same classes – Avery earned her degree primarily online – the three still understood what the others were going through.
“It was fun because we were all doing the same thing – attending classes, studying, writing papers – so we could relate to one another,” Vanessa said.
Avery plans to work in the medical field. Brock plans to work in the oil and gas industry, while Vanessa will begin pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at the University next month.
“I love learning new things, so why not continue my education? So, I’ll just dive right into it in January,” Vanessa said.
Avery said she admires her mother for her ability to juggle the demands of family, work and school.
“We’re so proud of her,” she said.