Tennessee grandmom and granddaughter graduate together from same university

Grandmother, granddaughter graduate together

They have been described as the first grandmother and granddaughter to graduate at the same time in the Tennessee State University’s more than 100-year history.

Theresa Lyles, 68, and her 22-year-old granddaughter Zuri Lyles on Saturday, May 5, graduated together to the admiration of many.

The grandmother, Theresa received a degree in sociology, while Zuri earned a bachelor’s degree in health information management and a minor in business, according to the Tennesse State University Newsroom.

In 1967, Theresa enrolled at the university but dropped out three years later to enable her to take care of her family.

Over a year ago, she decided to return to school and later found out that those credits she earned from her earlier schooling have given her an advantage and got her closer to graduation.

Grandmother, granddaughter graduate together from university

But while Theresa received the good news that she could graduate soon, she and her granddaughter were left heartbroken when her daughter (Zuri’s mother) passed away on January 6.

“That hit us so hard that I almost dropped out because I was struggling, and my grandmother went through a depression,” Zuri said.

“But we kept encouraging each other. Through it all, we started working harder and did everything we needed to get the job done,” she was quoted by TSU.

Zuri, who is planning to attend graduate school and get a degree in physical therapy, already has a job offer with St. Thomas General as an information systems analyst.

Theresa, however, said that she will continue to help with raising her grandchildren.


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