God takes center stage as mother, son graduate together

Tammy Wilson and Hunter Wilson, center, stood with family and friends following thier graduation from Faulkner University.

Tammy Wilson and Hunter Wilson, center, stood with family and friends following thier graduation from Faulkner University.

Hunter Wilson sat in his chair among the hundreds of other Faulkner University graduates in the Garrett Coliseum wearing his black graduation robe, blue stole, cap and tassel.

Yes, he was excited to graduate, but not as excited and proud as he was for the person he was waiting to see cross the stage like he had – his mother, Tammy Wilson.

It was a memory that both son and mother will cherish for many years to come, they said. It was also one that they never thought would happen, but Tammy attributes the special occasion to the Lord making a way.

Hunter watched and cheered as his mother took the stairs one by one to the stage where she was handed her diploma. Smiling, she walked a few more steps to greet and shake hands with Faulkner President Mike Williams.

It was a moment that stood still in time for Tammy. Graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management was a major step toward something that had been a dream of hers for a very long time – finally getting her Master’s in education.

After being a teacher’s aide for 14 years at Holtville Elementary School and running a daycare for children for more than 20 years, she loves being around children, but always envisioned herself as a teacher.

After the ceremony, mother and son embraced among other family and friends, staff and faculty who had their turn hugging and congratulating the new graduates.

Tammy Wilson, left, with her son, Hunter Wilson.

Tammy Wilson, left, with her son, Hunter Wilson.

Hunter, who graduated with his Bachelor’s in accounting and earned the Accounting Award, said he was proud of his mom for pursuing her dream after sacrificing so much to make sure he and his sister had their chance at going to college.

“I had never planned to walk, but when I found out that my mom and I would be walking on the same day, it was something that I couldn’t pass up,” Hunter said. “I was so proud that she finally went back and pursued her dreams. “

“She had put her life on hold to make sure she was at our events and we were able to pursue our dreams. There was no one in that room that was more proud of her than I was of her accomplishments. To see her put herself first was nice. It was awesome to share the ceremony with her.”

Tammy Wilson earned her Associate’s degree years earlier, but events that surrounded her finding her way to Faulkner could only be explained as God’s intervention, she said.

“God can do great things, but stepping out on faith is scary,” Tammy said. “But the Lord worked out all the details and it’s just cool how everything worked out. It was just such a blessing to share that day with Hunter.”

“It was a very proud ‘mom-moment’ to see him graduate and a very exciting blessing to be able to share in this experience with him!”

Her journey to Faulkner began with a simple email to her work inbox two years ago that advertised 50 percent off Faulkner tuition for all Elmore County and City employees. It was the spark that made her pick up the phone and find out more.

“I decided to call about Faulkner’s adult education program, because I wouldn’t be able to quit my jobs and would only be able to take online and evening classes,” she said.

She reached someone in the education department that encouraged her to major in human resource management which, after graduation, would enable her to go into an alternative master’s program in education to become certified to teach.

It was something she had not thought of, but was actually the perfect plan for what she needed at the time.

Tammy Wilson stands with Hunter Wilson center, after graduating.

Tammy Wilson stands with Hunter Wilson center, after graduating.

Hunter was already enrolled at Faulkner at the time and they never imagined they would walking across the same stage on graduation day.

“It was a cool moment for sure,” Hunter said. “They called her name and she walked across the stage and it was a good time. Especially after seeing how hard she worked and then she got honors on top of that. It was a neat experience and she definitely pushed me to work hard to the finish through her example.”

Hunter lived with his mom and dad in Holtville while he commuted to Faulkner’s campus and he and his mom would talk frequently about the classes they were taking and their professors. They agreed that their professors made their college experience enjoyable and unforgettable.

“I enjoyed the family atmosphere at Faulkner. I could talk with professors, drop by their office whether I needed help with class or just to chat, I really enjoyed how personal it was,” Hunter said. “Professors like David Johnson and Rayla Black really cared and wanted to help.”

He is now pursuing his MBA from Faulkner while deciding between pursuing a job in accounting from a public firm or private company, thanks to his internships through the College of Business.

“All the instructors have been encouraging and if I had to do it all over again, I would. I really would,” Tammy said.

“I’m so proud of Hunter and I’m proud of myself too, I’m so glad we got to share that day.”  As a mom, this is such an unexpected and incredible blessing!”

“I’ve always wanted to get my degree in education. I love to teach and I love being around children,” Tammy said. “The day I called Faulkner was only six days away from when my first class would start. It was a wild and crazy ride, but the people in the admissions office were so helpful in making sure my credits transferred and getting me started.  God worked out every detail in just six days!”

Tammy Wilson graduates with her Bachelor's in Human Resource Management.

Tammy Wilson graduates with her Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management.

Hunter was already enrolled at Faulkner at the time and they never imagined they would walking across the same stage on graduation day.

“It was a cool moment for sure,” Hunter said. “They called her name and she walked across the stage and it was a good time. Especially after seeing how hard she worked and then she got honors on top of that. It was a neat experience and she definitely pushed me to work hard to the finish through her example.”

Hunter lived with his mom and dad in Holtville while he commuted to Faulkner’s campus and he and his mom would talk frequently about the classes they were taking and their professors. They agreed that their professors made their college experience enjoyable and unforgettable.

“I enjoyed the family atmosphere at Faulkner. I could talk with professors, drop by their office whether I needed help with class or just to chat, I really enjoyed how personal it was,” Hunter said. “Professors like David Johnson and Rayla Black really cared and wanted to help.”

He is now pursuing his MBA from Faulkner while deciding between pursuing a job in accounting from a public firm or private company, thanks to his internships through the College of Business.

“All the instructors have been encouraging and if I had to do it all over again, I would. I really would,” Tammy said.

“I’m so proud of Hunter and I’m proud of myself too, I’m so glad we got to share that day.”  As a mom, this is such an unexpected and incredible blessing!”

Posted in: Adult Ed News, Alumni, Faulkner News, Graduate News, Online News