News-Mother/Daughter Graduate Same day
Mother, Daughter Receive Business Degrees on Same Day
Lunette and Kedra Pharr like to do things together like most typical mothers and daughters do. They enjoy shopping together, talking with each other and – pursuing a college degree together.
Saturday at Lipscomb University commencement exercises, Lunette Pharr and her daughter, Kedra, will both receive their undergraduate degrees. Having completed several college courses earlier in life, Lunette said her lifelong dream was to finish college. So, a few years ago, Lunette set out to fulfill that goal by enrolling at Lipscomb University. She said she also hoped to serve as an inspiration to her children.
“I felt that if they saw I could finish something then they could, too,” said Lunette, a mother of four who also works full time as an enrollment records assistant at Lipscomb.
An organizational communication major, Lunette said her daughter has been a great encourager to her as she pursued her dream of earning a college degree.
“When I feel I am not doing well Kedra will tell me not to worry and to just do my best and I will be alright,” said Lunette. “Motivation has come from many different people but much of it has been from my children. They all have encouraged me. When my son has been out to sea he has email me to tell me I could do this. My daughters-in-law have e-mailed me and would ask how I was doing in my classes. Kedra has motivated me to finish sooner than I might have. I was just taking a few classes when I realized that if I really got busy I could walk with her in graduation. My husband has encouraged me. He has been doing all the house work and has not complained one time. I know he will be glad I am finished but I do not know if I can go back to doing all that housework again.”
Lunette said that several co-workers and friends at Lipscomb have also kept her motivated through her studies. And, she said she was inspired by something Lipscomb’s new president Randy Lowry said early in his administration.
“In his first chapel talk to the employees Dr. Lowry challenged us to ask ourselves ‘How can I be the person I need to be if I stay who I am?’ That has really motivated me and encouraged me to finish this task and to eagerly see what the future holds,” she said.
A double major in marketing and management, Kedra said her mom has been an inspiration to her as well.
“I can't imagine going back to school when I get older and have a family and a full time job. She has inspired me with her ability to do everything. My dad and brother and I try to help when possible but she stills seems to be the one getting everything done while working a full time job and going to class. She definitely is the glue that keeps our family together.”
Although they have not had any classes together, Kedra said she and her mom have studied the same subject matter during the same semester. She said it was tough at times to see her mom get frustrated with her studies, but was inspired by the way she handled the stress.
“There were times she would have to calm me down and help me with other things so that I could get my homework done. I don't know how she did it. Anything I was stressed out about she would do whatever she could to make it easier while still doing her work,” said Kedra. “I guess that’s what moms do for their babies. It was a little frustrating for me sometimes because usually moms have time after work to do stuff and help you and shop with you. But sometimes Mom would have homework and I would have to keep on her to get started early and to get it done so we could do something fun like go shopping. Our roles were switched a little every now and then.”
Lunette said her husband, her other three children and their families will all help celebrate the occasion by attending commencement exercises. With a degree in hand, Kedra said she plans to pursue a career in marketing or management. However, Lunette said she isn’t as certain about what the future has in store for her.
“It has been a great privilege to be able to receive my degree from Lipscomb University,” said Lunette. “But, I am not sure what God has planned for me next.”
The Pharrs are among 350 students graduating from Lipscomb University at commencement exercises today.