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Mother, Daughter Graduate Together in OWU Class of 2000

May 12, 2000

DELAWARE, OHIO -- Rita Boham, currently the Modern Foreign Languages department secretary at Ohio Wesleyan University and resident of Delaware County, began as the English/Humanities/Honors department secretary in Aug. 1989. Then in the spring of 1990, Rita decided once again to become a student and took her first class at Ohio Wesleyan.

Ten years later, Rita Boham, along with her daughter Tracy, will graduate from Ohio Wesleyan as part of the Class of 2000. Tracy is a senior majoring in Medieval Studies. Tracy was scheduled to graduate in 1999, but she took a year off to be an au paire in Paris, France. And Matt Boham, Rita's son and Tracy's younger brother, also attends Ohio Wesleyan and was scheduled to graduate this spring. However, because he decided to switch his major from music to sociology, he will now graduate in 2001. So given this, all three Bohams could have graduated from Ohio Wesleyan this Sunday.

Rita took approximately three classes a year to graduate. She had four credits that transferred from Columbus State, so she needed 30 more units. Rita is a sociology major and graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She has also taken three years of Spanish and has traveled to Spain twice through the Modern Foreign Languages department. She also went to Spain this past summer for a month.

Rita said she wants to continue to take classes after graduation because, she said, "you never know." She is even contemplating graduate school. This summer she plans to take another course: social psychology.

"I enjoy learning and I want to take classes I am interested in," Rita said.

Rita attributes part of her success to her husband. Her husband serves as a captain on the Delaware Fire Department, so he works 24 hours and then has two days off. Their schedules work well together because her strategy is to study and read ahead, so that she can plan to spend time with her family.

Being a non-traditional student, Rita said some students look at her strangely, and others make her feel like just one of the students. She said all the professors have treated her fairly. But Rita also said that she gets the feeling that other faculty and administrators think she is a bit crazy for taking on the extra work.

Tracy said she thinks it's great her mother is doing this.

"It's been a lot of hard work and many years -- I am so proud of her," Tracy said. "She takes her education seriously. ... It's not weird to spend time together. We've always been close."

Tracy sees her mom on a daily basis.

"We have lunch or I stop by University Hall to say hello," Tracy said.

According to Tracy, sometimes people make the connection that all three family members attend Ohio Wesleyan, but for the most part people don't notice. But both mother and daughter will walk down Phillips Glen together on Sunday afternoon to receive their diplomas.