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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Dec. 11, 2014

Mother, daughter celebrate degree completion together

By Jennifer Kirk, media relations assistant

Lenda Brown King and Sarah Brown Graham
Lenda Brown King and Sarah Brown Graham

Sarah Brown Graham wasn’t alone when she crossed the commencement stage Friday at Northwest Missouri State University.

Brown Graham, who received her degree in business management, wanted to give her mother a second chance to participate in the commencement ceremony she missed back in 1979. That year, Lenda Brown King completed her degree in office administration but chose not to walk because of her responsibilities as a single mother.

“I am thrilled to have Mom walk with me,” Brown Graham said. “I saw how hard she worked to get her degree as a single mom. She is an excellent role model, and I am happy that I had such a wonderful, strong, driven woman to inspire and teach me. She is my best friend, and I can’t think of a better way to make my graduation more special than to share it with her.”

Said Brown Kling, “I feel so privileged that Northwest has given me the chance to walk with my daughter. It’s a very neat opportunity.”

Brown Graham, a Maryville native, said she chose to attend Northwest and complete her degree because of flexibility of its online program.

“I attended Northwest off and on since graduating from high school,” she said. “I enjoyed my business class professors, and they were very helpful and interactive with the online classes.”

Brown Kling is retired from New England Business Service in Maryville. Brown Graham works for Geist Heating and Air Conditioning in Maryville.

“I probably wouldn’t have walked if she didn’t ask,” Brown Kling said. “I’m nervous and anxious, but she has worked so hard to get her degree. It’s important to reach some of your goals to matter how old you are.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468