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Mother and son graduating together from UT Tyler

Carolyn O'Neill

POSTED: Friday, May 9, 2014 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 12, 2014 - 4:13pm

University of Texas at Tyler students will get ready to throw their graduation hats in the air on Saturday. And did you ever think you would graduate with, your mom? One mother and son got the surprise of a lifetime when they found out they are graduating on the same day from the business school.

Carolyn and her son Eric O'Neill are both graduating with a BBA degree. Carolyn never thought she would receive her diploma with her son right by her side.

Carolyn worked at a printing company for 17 years .She was laid off and her dad encouraged her to go back to school.

"I never thought I was college material until I made that happen and after that happened, I said you know what, you could actually do this," said Carolyn.

She enrolled at UT Tyler in 2005.

With a full time job, it took her 8 years to finish, but she can't wait to hang that diploma in her office.

"You may have to change your time limit, you may have to change how you're doing things, but don't throw your goals away if they're really goals," said Carolyn.

Eric changed his major three times, but settled with marketing and helped his mom with some of her homework.

"I had some classes that were very difficult and I leaned on my son for help and he came over and tutored me," said Carolyn.

They ended up taking calculus together.

"He usually sat in the back and I am a front row seat person because I am an old person, I have to see. He sat in the back with all the young kids."

"I said this is just review for me, I can help you, so I ended up getting my homework done while helping her," said Eric.

"She ended up with a higher grade than me," said Eric.

Now, in their cap and gown, they will be receiving their business diplomas together. An accomplishment they will remember forever.

"The entire time she said, I'm going to get this done and now she's here and we happened to have it on the same day," said Eric.

"You have to push him to keep going cause he will coast on you, but he does manage to accomplish everything I wanted him to and I've always been proud of him," said Carolyn.

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