When many students are hoping to wave hello to mom at UALR’s Spring Commencement Saturday morning, Bethany Hodges won’t have to look too far for hers.
Hodges, a criminal justice major, will be joined on the floor of the Jack Stephens Center by her mother, 51-year-old Dawn Teer, who is about to complete the requirements for a bachelor of arts in professional and technical writing.
“I think it’s pretty neat,” said Hodges. “I am extremely proud of her for returning to school to complete her degree. I know what a challenge it has been at times.”
“I’m so stunned,” said Teer. “I didn’t think this day would ever come.”
And, like mother, like daughter, both are getting minors in business management.
Teer still has an upper-level Spanish course to finish before the degree will be issued, but because she is within the required number of credit hours, she will be able to share her commencement experience with her daughter.
Teer stopped attending college when she got married and started a family several years ago. It was a decision her father – who died unexpectedly at 53 of a massive heart attack – predicted she would later regret.
When Teer’s youngest son graduated high school in 2006, she decided it was time to honor her deceased father’s wishes and finish the education she started long ago.
“I know where he’s at and I know he’s watching,” Teer said. “This one’s for him.”