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Carolyn and Immanuel Patton, a mother and son pair from Maryland, graduated college together last week. The duo both attended the University of Maryland. 

Immanuel Patton long planned for the two to earn degrees together. According to Patton, 23, “I remember I just told my mom … one day, it’s gonna be you and me. We’re going to get our degrees at the same time.”

Meanwhile, Carolyn Patton focused on Immanuel’s education, rather than her own. According to Carolyn, “For me, I had sort of gave up on it because I had already accomplished some associate’s degrees and then I had started my bachelor’s degree back in 1995, but life happened. Things got in the way.”

But Immanuel never wavered in his dream, encouraging his mother to attend an online program at the University of Maryland. The two started school together in 2020.

Classes were never easy, but the two leaned on each other for support. According to Immanuel Patton, “The main thing was just trying to get everything lined up and stay on top of her as well stay on top of myself.”

Mother and son earn accolades with college graduation

Their hard work paid off in December 2022. Carolyn graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in humanities while Immanuel earned a Bachelor’s degree in public safety administration.

The two attended the graduation ceremony together as well. The University’s president spoke to Good Morning America about the dynamic mother and son duo.

According to Gregory Fowler, “They were able to lift each other up at critical times during their journey. At UMGC we know that each learner may have different needs or start from different places—as exemplified by Immanuel and Carolyn—and our promise to all is that we will meet them where they are and support them as they transform their lives and the lives of those they love.”

Now, the mother and son duo are preparing for their next steps in their careers. Carolyn Patton works as a coordinator at Anne Arundel Community College, while Immanuel is starting a new position at the University of Maryland.

For now, the two are basking in their achievements. According to Carolyn, “I’m so happy that we went that route because right now, look at us, we both have our bachelor’s degrees.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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