A day of celebration and a day to remember for nearly 700 graduates at Southern University.
For Lisa Nichols and her daughter Leah Merkinson, it is a day they are celebrating together, as they both received their master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
“It was an awesome experience,” Merkinson laughed with her mother. “It was a once in a lifetime awesome experience.”
Merkinson said she is the one who convinced her mom to take the leap.
“I decided to sign up for the Ed Leadership program at Southern. So, I gave my mom a call because she is in the education field as well. So, we decided to take on the feat together,” explained Merkinson.
“I’ve been an educator now for 20 plus years, and I have a couple of certifications, one in VI, but I’ve always, maybe, thought about getting my masters, and it was just a perfect time to do it,” said Nichols.
For Student Marshal and Jaguar Football Linebacker Kentavious Preston, this is a feeling he cannot simply put into words.
“All the hard work and dedication that you put into things and you see it come to fruition, and it’s just amazing,” said Preston.
Now the question is, what’s next?
“After football is over, I want to run my own businesses, and I also want to attend law school,” said Preston.
“My daughter is hopefully going on to her PhD. It’s possibility for me, but really, I’m going to enjoy being a grandmother,” said Nichols.
“Actually, I’m considering it, but right now, I’m looking at possible positions in administration,” concluded Merkinson.
This year, the University graduated the largest nursing class in its history with more than 130 students in total.