Mother, daughter graduate together on Mother’s Day weekend
For Stephanie Rogers, Liberty University’s 46th Commencement was about more than just celebrating her B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences. Rogers shared in the accomplishment alongside one of her daughters, Amanda Claros, who graduated with the same degree.
When Rogers, 45, first stepped on campus a few years ago, she wasn’t convinced she would be able to finish.
“Students would sit next to me and do a double check,” she said with a laugh. “But soon they started calling me ‘LU Mom.’ I can’t tell you how many snacks I handed out to people. If I saw them on their phones during class I would say, ‘Do you know how much your parents pay for you to take these classes?’”
Neither of Rogers’ parents had gone to college, so to get a feel for what it was like, she turned to her daughters for help.
“I was asking them how to register for classes and where my classes were,” she said. “Coming to college just sounded impossible. I struggled in school, but I’ve always known you take it a day at a time and God will cover the rest.”
Studying FACS seemed like the most obvious choice for her bachelor’s degree, Rogers said. The program seemed to hit on the subjects that Rogers is passionate about.
“I feel like the home and family is the foundation of the world, and there’s nothing more important than that,” she said.
It was a similar feeling for Claros who couldn’t wait to share her major — and college experience — with her mom.
“We’re opposites, but it’s been beautiful,” Rogers said. “She would say, ‘Mom, when are you getting ready to take that class? I want to take it with you.’ … We even interned together.”
Rogers’ college experience came full circle when she took an event planning class that allowed students to choose an organization or nonprofit to raise money for over the semester. When her professor asked if there was anyone who wanted to help out the school’s Habitat for Humanity Club, she didn’t hesitate. The organization was already close to her heart; Rogers and her husband were the recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home in the early years of their marriage.
“Habitat did wonders for us,” she said. “It taught us how to build a house, how to make house payments, and then we learned to get a realtor and sell our home. It’s definitely a wonderful program. It’s very emotional to be able to give back to (an organization) that’s given back so much to you.”