Three times the commencement fun for one STC family
STC’s Commencement Ceremony was triple the accomplishment as a mother, father and daughter trio graduated together. Pictured (left to right): Lizbeth Benavidez, Maria Luna and Eddie Luna.
South Texas College Commencement Ceremonies are days of celebration. They mark a milestone in a student’s life that signifies the beginning of a new chapter, but for one family, it was triple the accomplishment as a mother, father and daughter trio graduated together.
In STC’s most recent ceremonies Lizbeth Benavidez graduated with an associate degree in Social Work and joined her mother Maria Luna, who received an associate degree in Culinary Arts and father Eddie Luna, who earned an associate degree in Construction Supervision, in the pomp and circumstance.
It was Benavidez’s father who initiated the domino effect of success for his family. The 48-year-old is an Army veteran who served 20 years in the armed forces as a combat medic with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Upon his retirement from his decades-long military career, he craved new skills that would help him begin a new chapter.
This is a tremendous feeling; it’s awesome. I’m so proud of my wife, my daughter and I’m glad they decided to follow in my footsteps. I’m really happy and excited, but I’m more excited for them. I’m glad we were able to accomplish this together.
Already a graduate from STC’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) and Electrician Technology programs, Eddie never expected that one day he would be graduating with his wife and daughter.
“This is a tremendous feeling; it’s awesome,” he said. “I’m so proud of my wife, my daughter and I’m glad they decided to follow in my footsteps. I’m really happy and excited, but I’m more excited for them. I’m glad we were able to accomplish this together.”
With his third degree under his belt and numerous skills that are in demand, Eddie plans on returning to STC, this time as a Construction Supervision instructor to share his knowledge in the classroom.
Following her passion for cooking, especially baking, Maria, 56, was inspired by her husband to give college a try for the first time.
“I like to cook and bake for family and friends, and I returned to college with hopes that this degree could help turn my hobby into a career. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that it’s never too late,” said Maria.
She added how proud she is to be doing this alongside her husband and daughter.
“I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished. It wasn’t always easy,” she said.
As for their daughter, the 29-year-old said she still can’t believe that all three of them graduated at the same time.
“It’s so surreal. I can’t believe it. I’m so happy,” said Benavidez. “I’m so proud of my parents, they are a big reason why I did this and then of course, my son was the biggest motivation of all. I wanted to come back to make him proud and give him footsteps to follow too.”
With a servant heart and a degree, Benavidez will work to make a difference in the lives of others. Helping people, she said, is where she belongs.
The trio were part of the more than 3,100 students who graduated with a certificate or associate degree during STC’s Commencement Ceremonies this month.
Registration for summer and fall 2023 is underway, visit southtexascollege.edu for more information.
Summer classes begin June 5.