Pat, Ryan and Regan McGill. The trio are completing a remarkable triple crown of graduation-significance: Pat, the father, is graduating with his son and daughter this semester.
“We’ve always been pretty close as a family, so doing something like this, it’s – I mean there’s not many people that can say they walked with their sibling and their parent,” said Ryan McGill. “So pretty grateful for that.”
Pat is graduating in construction management, Ryan is getting an exercise science degree while Regan’s diploma will read psychology and women’s and gender studies. Walking across the stage at Eastern Michigan University, it’s an inflection point of familial academia sure to be celebrated.
“We’ll laugh, we’ll talk, I’m sure we’ll cry,” said Ryan.
“It will be a crying moment for sure,” said Pat.
The timing is somewhat serendipitous, somewhat on purpose.
Pat has been a police officer with EMU public safety for two decades. He’s been taking classes for years. While Regan met her degree requirements in May, Ryan reached his credit threshold in December.
Instead of staggering the celebrations, the three decided to start the party, and the tears, all at once.
“I’m very proud of both of them,” said Pat.
He’s proud of himself too, but too humble to say so. Not for his daughter though.
“He’s accomplished so much,” Regan said. “Seeing him over the years, it’s so amazing to see him grow as a person, and this has just been a fun journey with both of them.”
That’s not to say paths haven’t crossed in more ways than one. The three have shared professors and classes. Pat, while wearing a police uniform, has even busted their friends at parties.
Future plans remain somewhat unknown, but all three have a direction they’re following. Regan has plans for graduate school or the Air Force. Ryan wants to become a physician’s assistant.
Pat has future plans as well, aspiring to perfect the Microsoft Power Point skills he’s recently acquired. He also has an 8-year-old daughter he may just graduate next to someday.
“Hey, I’m kind of young,” laughed Pat.