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Mothers and Daughters Graduating Together

Monday, May 20, 2013
On Sunday, May 19, at D.A.R. Constitution Hall, two sets of mothers and daughters graduated from Marymount University: Elizabeth and Katherine Cramp of Clifton, VA, and Teryl and Kimberly Baker of Fairfax, VA.

Liz Cramp and her daughter, Katie, each earned the Master of Education in elementary education. They were in the intensive Professional Development School, a partnership that the university has with Arlington and Fairfax County Public Schools. The Cramps were both student teachers at Hutchinson Elementary in Herndon and Sunrise Valley Elementary in Reston, while taking their classes. The children got a kick out of having more than one Ms. Cramp. Liz explains, “They were very excited and curious to see the other half of the Cramp team!”

Katie Cramp recalls her mom asking, with some trepidation, “Can I go to college with you?” And, Liz admits, “It was a lot to ask of her.” Katie quickly put her at ease and says, “I knew it was something we could handle.”

That doesn’t mean it was easy. Katie points out, “It was hard to compromise. We became less mom and daughter and more roomies!” In their daily commutes, they also had to make adjustments. Liz notes, “I’m chatty, and Katie is quiet. I like classic rock; she listens to country music.”

Today, Liz says, “It was the shortest and longest year of our lives! It’s been a joy seeing what a wonderful person and teacher my daughter has become.” Katie adds, “Thank you for putting up with me. I love you, Mom.” They both stress that they hope to be caring, effective, and selfless teachers.

For Kimberly Baker and her mom, Teryl, the situation was a bit different. Kimberly will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance. Teryl Baker has earned her master’s in pastoral counseling. But they did provide support and encouragement for each other during late nights studying and writing papers.

Teryl was at Marymount first, and Kimberly transferred into the university from Florida A&M. Kimberly quickly became active on campus in the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) club, the Black Student Alliance, and LIST (Ladies Inspiring Strength for Tomorrow). A Dean’s List student, she had a campus job in the Center for Career Services.

Teryl says, “Being in school with Kimberly was a very special experience. I hoped to inspire her, as well as meet some of her friends who are all smart young people.” Kimberly agrees that the two years spent together at Marymount were a gift. "It was very nice to spend time with my mother one-on-one, she explains. “Our relationship grew stronger. We've encouraged each other to keep pushing forward because we both knew the goals that we were trying to accomplish.” Kimberly adds, “I also thought it was funny when she would ask me for computer help. It reminded me that I had one up on her even though she is the mother!"

After graduation, Kimberly already has a job lined up with the AFLAC insurance company. She also has plans to pursue a master’s degree in organizational development. Teryl is continuing on at Marymount as a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program. She wants to have her own counseling agency one day, as well as teach counseling and conduct research.
PHOTO 1 - Katie Cramp adjusts her mom's cap as they prepare for the Commencement Ceremony.
PHOTO 2 - Kimberly (left) and Teryl Baker are proud of each other.