Mother and Daughter Scheduled to Graduate at FAMU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Susan Dunbar will share a significant milestone with her daughter, Ayonna Dunbar, as they both graduate from Florida A&M University (FAMU). On Saturday, April 30 nearly 1,400 candidates will join the Dunbars to receive their diploma during the Spring Commencement ceremony in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
Atlanta Mayor M. Kasim Reed will serve as the keynote speaker for FAMU’s 9 a.m. Spring Commencement ceremony and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will serve as the 2 p.m. speaker. Doors will open for the public at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremony and at 1 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Susan Dunbar, 50, stated that it was a little tough coming back to school, juggling her family and church; however, she does not regret her decision.
“My family and friends supported me throughout my tenure at FAMU,” said Susan Dunbar. “When I thought that I could not do it, they encouraged me.”
Susan Dunbar, a nursing major, graduated from FAMU 28 years ago with a bachelor’s of science in nursing before enrolling into the master’s program in 2009; two years after Ayonna Dunbar started her first semester and the same semester her son Darius Dunbar, 20, started classes at FAMU.
“The three of us attending FAMU was an advantage,” said Susan Dunbar. “We would check on each other to make sure we completed projects and papers, and often compare our GPA’s [grade point average].”
Ayonna Dunbar, 23, who is also excited about graduating alongside her mother, plans to get her master’s degree in mental health at FAMU. Her passion for health derives from her mother’s community outreach.
“My mother is known for always helping someone,” said Ayonna Dunbar, a senior psychology major. “She’s naturally an humanitarian.”
Last year, Susan Dunbar coordinated a health fair in the Housing Community in Tallahassee where she educated residents and facilitated a variety of health screenings.
“This is really exciting because I thought I was going to experience the excitement of graduation alone,” said Ayonna Dunbar. “I’m glad to have my mother to share this moment with me.”
Susan Dunbar, who is graduating with honors, is scheduled to receive her diploma during the 2 p.m. ceremony, and Ayonna Dunbar will receive her diploma during the 9 a.m. ceremony.
“This is the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could ever receive,” said Susan Dunbar. “Having my daughter and myself graduate at the same time is awesome.”