Best Mother’s Day celebration ever: Commencement 2018

As they munched on snacks and dug into desserts at the President's reception on Friday, mothers of the Class of 2018 graduates reflected on the role they’ve played in their children’s lives over the last four years and what this Mother’s Day means to them.

claudia massarenti

Debbie Green, mother to Julia

Hometown: Los Angeles

It's the best Mother’s Day I could imagine. It's her honor and it's her graduation, but I feel like I was a part of launching her on her own personal journey. Even though it's her path, I feel like I was next to her on some of it. Thank God for FaceTime. She could show me her room, show me her friends, show me her host family in Spain, show me important events on the Brandeis campus. I could show Julia her cat or people she missed at home. It kept us connected. It kind of mitigated the fear of leaving home. It closed the separation.

debbie green

Claudia Massarenti, mother to Laura Bonvini 

Hometown: Piacenza, Italy 

The adjustment to a new culture wasn't easy. I came here many times during the four years. The most important thing was being on her side because in Italy traditional families are very supportive and close. I talked to her, listened to her, just tried to share her experience — the very basic things that mothers do. 

patti cooperPatti Cooper, mother to Philip 

Hometown: Dallas

My mother and father are coming into town so this is an extra special Mother's Day. We'll be able to celebrate my mother as well as the graduate. I saw my role as supporting his journey and making sure he knew, even though he was far away from us, that he was loved and that we were praying for him and cared for him. We're just so excited to see him at this point in his life right now and see what will happen going forward. 

sultana haqueSultana Haque, mother to Anisa 

Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts 

We usually go out to breakfast. This year we'll probably go out to dinner. It's very exciting. We live only 15 minutes away, but we never dropped by unannounced, and we gave Anisa her space. Still, every day she had to text me to let me know that she was back at her dorm. I wanted to know she was safe. That's something that as a mother I'll always worry about. 

It's emotional for me because she's the baby in the family. I'm sort of like, “Oh my God, the baby is graduating.” I'm a little sad that she's grown up — really, really grown up.

harriet warrenHarriet Warren, mother to Donald, MFA’18 in musicology

Hometown: Pine Bluff, Arkansas

I feel proud and humbled. My grandfather and grandmother weren’t able to complete school, but they pushed their children to go to school. They had 11 children. They finished high school, and my mother completed some college. I am the first of my mother’s children to graduate from college. Donald is my first child to graduate from college. It’s been a long road. 

I encouraged him, talked to him. He’s a very independent person, so he wouldn’t accept much monetary help. I have a full-time job. I’m a fourth-grade teacher in Arkansas. He knows what I do, so he’s like “Mother, you handle your thing. I’ll handle this.” I was supportive but as much as he would let me be.

susan weissSusan Weiss, mother to Rebecca

Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

I feel really proud as a mother. I’m looking forward to celebrating with her. Quite frankly, I’ve kind of forgotten it’s Mother’s Day. As a mother, it’s kind of a balancing act. You want to be supportive, but you want your child to grow and do things on her own and make her own decisions. I’ve definitely seen her change. I’ve seen her become more confident. I’ve seen her grow as a person, and I’ve seen her develop into a person who cares a lot about others.

Categories: General

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