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We Are Family: Husband, His Wife and Father Complete Journey to Graduate College Together

Graduation season is upon us and three members of the same family have plenty of reason to celebrate: all three just earned their college degrees — from the same university!

Shamir Taylor, a retired U.S. Army combat veteran; his wife Nyema Taylor, a breast cancer survivor and mom of two; and Shamir’s father, Raymond Richardson, a retired U.S. Army master sergeant, all received diplomas from University of Maryland, University College in Adelphi, Maryland, on Saturday.

Family Members Graduate
(From left to right) Raymond Richardson, Shamir Taylor and Nyema Taylor took steps to make sure they would all graduate at the same time. (WUSA 9 / video screenshot)

The trio, whose graduation day has been decades in the making, embarked on their collegiate journeys together and even adjusted their coursework to ensure they all crossed the stage on the same day, WUSA 9 reported.

“Amazing!” Nyema Taylor screamed, 37, as she tried on her cap and gown ahead of this weekend’s commencement ceremony.

Husband Shamir Taylor, 35, displayed a blue stole with the words “veteran” emblazoned on the front.

For Richardson, the road to graduation has been even longer.

“I’ve been at it over 30 years,” the 64-year-old told the station. “Trying to get my degree. But from one college to the next, UMUC was my final stop.”

“It just goes to show you you’re never too late to get an education,” he added.

Shamir earned a B.S. in business administration, while his wife, Nyema, walked away with a B.A. in graphic communication. Richardson received a B.S. in public safety administration.

During their time in school, Richardson said he and Shamir had the chance to work with each other, as they were enrolled in some of the same classes. A cancer-stricken Nyema refused to let the diagnosis stop her, and she continued her education throughout her chemo and cancer treatments.

She said it was encouragement from her husband, father-in-law and other relatives that motivated her to keep going.

“It’s one thing to be graduating and walking down the aisle,” Nyema said. “But to be walking with two of the most important people in my life, it’s amazing. Amazing!”

All three said they hope their accomplishments will help inspire the next generation, namely the Taylors’ two children. 

“They’re like sponges right now,” Nyema Taylor told WUSA 9. “They look up to us. We want to do everything we can do to make sure their future is secure.”

Watch more in the video below.

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