Mother and daughter to graduate from ACU together; nearly 4 generations of family to participate in graduation


For immediate release
Dec. 13, 2001

Many parents dream of watching their children walk across the stage to receive a college diploma. Few parents, however, ever imagine joining their children as they graduate.

Friday at Abilene Christian University, Mary Hougey will do just that.

Hougey will receive her bachelor of science degree in history at ACU's December graduation at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. Her daughter, Sara Schopp, also will receive her bachelor of science degree in elementary education at the ceremony.

Hougey originally attended ACU more than 20 years ago but left school as a junior in 1977 after she married her husband, Kenneth, and moved to Concord, Calif.

Since then, Hougey has been a working mother, raising four children of her own. She had always planned on returning to school, but rather than finishing up at another school, Hougey wanted to receive her degree from ACU.

After corresponding with the registrar's office and the history department, Hougey was able to transfer her remaining credits from nearby Cal State Hayward.

Needless to say, she is more than excited about Friday's graduation.

"It's a dream I never thought would come true," Hougey said. "And to have my daughter there, that's icing on the cake."

Schopp, who has been student teaching in Austin this semester, married her husband, Joel, last year. The couple is expecting a child in May. She will be returning to Abilene Friday to join her parents and three aunts, who also graduated from ACU and will be attending graduation.

Kenneth will serve as Schopp's escort during the ceremony, while Mary will be accompanied by her mother, Billie Houton.

Hougey said she will really have four generations of her family present, considering her daughter's pregnancy.

All in all, Hougey said she couldn't be happier about the way things turned out and that her satisfaction will show during the ceremony.

"I'll be the older woman with a smile on my face," she said.

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Last update: Dec. 13, 2001

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