ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Graduation is always a special times for families.
However, Friday’s commencement exercises at South Carolina State will be even more memorable for one family.
Brandon Gathers and his father, Antonio, are both members of SC State’s Class of 2019 and they’ll receive their college degrees when they walk across the stage at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.
“He always wants to copy me,” joked Brandon.
When Brandon first enrolled at SC State four years ago, Antonio prepared himself to achieve a goal of his own by entering the Bulldogs Master Program. While Brandon attended classes on campus, Antonio took his classes online.
“It’s a little late in life,” Antonio said. “I am 49 years old and Brandon is 23.”
Brandon will receive a degree in business while Antonio will receive his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. As they prepare to close this chapter together, they credit each other for this rare event.
“It is so real right now,” said Antonio. “Because as he forestated, I never would have thought that this day would be here, that we would be graduating together.”
“He’s like my inspiration,” Brandon added. “He is the perfect model of a black male father figure.”
South Carolina State will hold commencement exercises Friday. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.