L-R: Chris, Sharon, Marilyn, Sara, Jon (checkered shirt), John and Matt Sanders.
L-R: Chris, Sharon, Marilyn, Sara, Jon (checkered shirt), John and Matt Sanders.

Three kids. Three graduation ceremonies. Three different times and locations.

That’s the logistical dilemma facing the Sanders family May 14 as it celebrates the graduation of siblings Sara (medicine), Matt (law) and Jon (social work).

Parents Sharon and Chris Sanders, both UofL alumni, will divvy up responsibilities on the big day and have already called in grandparent reinforcements.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Mom Sharon, a full-time instructor and 1983 graduate of the Kent School of Social Work, will accompany son Jon—who has earned a master’s degree in social work—at the 2 p.m. ceremony at the KFC Yum! Center.
  • Dad Chris, a 1988 graduate of the law school, will stick with Matt, who has earned the same degree as his father, at the 5 p.m. law school celebration, Brown Theatre.
  • Grandmother Marilyn Sanders and grandfather John Sanders, both retired doctors, will accompany Sara for the 4:30 p.m. School of Medicine hooding ceremony at the Kentucky International Convention Center. In fact, they will have the honor of placing the hood on their granddaughter. Marilyn is a 1958 alumna of the school and John also took classes there during the 1950s.

“It’s really special that my grandparents can do my hooding,” said Sara. She notes that when her grandmother attended medical school she was one of just five women in a class of 100.

Sharon said she never imagined a time when all of her children would earn professional degrees on the same day.

“It’s a proud day for me,” Chris said.

To recuperate after all those years of classes and the grand finale of commencement, the Sanders family will spend a week at Disney World.

Jon said he was looking forward to commencement because it would give him a sense of completion.

“It’s knowing that you’re done, really done,” he said.

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Cindy Hess
Communications Director Cindy Hess has oversight for day-to-day operations in media relations and covers prestigious scholars, the College of Education and Human Development and Brandeis School of Law. She reports to the Media Relations Director, has a heckuva good resume, and faithfully eats kale for lunch every day. Cindy has more than 25 years of experience in media relations, investor relations, marketing and corporate communications and is the unit’s only employee entrusted to buy tickets for lottery pools.