Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790

Mother and Daughter will Receive Degrees Side-by-Side at 136th Commencement

Allentown, PA (May 11, 2006) – For Bethlehem native Marilyn Morales, this Mother's Day weekend marks an event that would be special for any proud mama. She will watch her daughter, Noelia, be the first of her family to receive a bachelor's degree…and then she'll get hers too. Both Marilyn and Noelia will graduate on Saturday, May 13th at Cedar Crest College's 136th Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. on the College Quadrangle.

Technically, Marilyn should be the first to receive her degree since they are conferred alphabetically, but this proud mother made special arrangements to change that. "I believe education is so important, but I got sidetracked along the way," says Marilyn. "Noelia has worked so hard for this and done so well. I wanted her to be the first to get her diploma."

To make the situation even more unique, they are graduating with the same major. Both mom and daughter are completing their degrees in social work, with Noelia receiving a psychology degree as well. For Marilyn, getting her bachelor's in social work was the logical next step in a career already rooted in the field. She has worked for the Association for the Blind and is currently working with the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (CADA). Noelia started off at Cedar Crest majoring in psychology, but soon became interested in social work based on the way both fields complemented one another. Her goal is to one day have a career in medical social work.

Having the same major, Marilyn and Noelia naturally had a lot of the same professors and took the same classes. "At first we didn't broadcast the fact that we were related. We were both here to do our own thing," says Noelia. "But we did help each other out from time to time, reminding about assignments and due dates. Eventually everyone found out when I called her 'mom' in class one day."

When they began their simultaneous college careers, Marilyn was concerned that her presence would have a negative affect on her daughter's college experience. "I wanted Noelia to experience all the great things about college and not feel like mom was hanging around to keep an eye on her." The pair quickly learned that it wouldn't be an issue and even shared the experience, attending of some of Cedar Crest's on-campus traditions and activities together.

Their shared experiences won't end at Cedar Crest either, as the dynamic mother/daughter duo looks forward to another milestone, Noelia's wedding. After that, they both plan on pursuing master's degrees in social work. "And it's looking like we may even attend the same grad school. Go figure," says Noelia with a grin.

For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


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