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RELLIS Academic Alliance graduates first in-person class

Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 made history today being the first people to graduate in-person from The Texas A&M University System RELLIS Campus.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Students from 9 institutions and over 10 different majors of the RELLIS Academic Alliance walked the stage.

Graduate Jennifer De Leon has been part of the Academic Alliance for 2 years.

She said in the beginning, there were only three people in her class and she said being part of this historic moment put her at a loss for words.

“I hope to in some way, inspire other people to go to college and work hard for whatever they want to do,” De Leon said.

Graduate James Loya joined the Academic Alliance in 2018.

During his journey, he switched majors to communication and said it was the major he should’ve started out with.

“Seeing how my friends always told me I should major in communications,” Loya said, “They said I’m so good at talking to people, I’m so personable, and I was like yeah but I want to do something else in life, but here I am now, graduating with a bachelor’s in communication.”

For one graduate, this graduation meant everything.

Graduate Margret Woodard and her husband made the decision a few years ago to show their kids the importance of a higher education.

Her husband graduated from college first and on Friday morning, it was her turn.

“When I was walking across, I was hoping I made them proud and I know I made myself proud and my parents.”

Woodard says she was the only one out of her 6 siblings who didn’t have a college degree, that’s changed.

“I set forth in this mission to make myself, my children and my parents proud and I realized, as I was walking across, I accomplished my goal.”

Woodard says the first thing she’s doing is going to Hawaii with her husband for some much-needed R & R then the job search begins.