Father, Son, and Daughter to Graduate at East Michigan University’s During Spring Commencement

By Paula Liu

A family of three just graduated from the same university—at the same time.

The close-knit family, Pat, Ryan, and Regan McGill had been attending Eastern Michigan University together for a long time, according to Fox Detroit. It was a significant day and a significant achievement for the three of them.

“We’ve always been pretty close as a family, so doing something like this … there’s not many people that can say they walked with their sibling and their parent,” Ryan McGill said in an interview with the news outlet. “So pretty grateful for that.”

The three graduated in their own respective degree programs and all three made sure to time their graduations so that they would graduate together. According to the Eastern Michigan University Facebook post, as well as a Twitter post, the three will graduate on April 28 at the spring commencement.

“A family affair at Sunday’s #EMU morning graduation ceremony! Three family members will walk across the stage together to accept diplomas—L-R: father and EMU Police Officer Pat McGill, son Ryan, and daughter Regan.”

The three had their graduation date figured out—according to the news outlet, “Regan met her degree requirements in May and Ryan reached his credit threshold in December.”

Pat McGill, Ryan and Regan McGill’s father, graduated with a focus on construction management. Ryan McGill would graduate with a degree in exercise science, while Regan McGill will graduate with a degree in psychology and women’s and gender studies.

When talking about their graduation ceremony, the thought of walking across the stage during their commencement and convocation ceremony made them quite emotional, especially for the close family of three. For the three of them, this moment of graduating together is something to be celebrated and remembered.

“We’ll laugh, we’ll talk, I’m sure we’ll cry,” Ryan McGill said.

Pat McGill echoed his son’s thought and said, “It will be a crying moment for sure.”

According to the news outlet and the university’s Facebook post, Pat McGill was working at the university as a police officer in public safety for 20 years. While there, he was taking classes. The three of them banded together and decided to share graduation, as well.

Pat told the news outlet that he was very proud of who his children had become, through this school, and despite being quite proud of himself as well, he wasn’t keen on voicing that out loud. His daughter, however, decided to speak her father’s and sentiments about the three of them all graduating, especially on her father’s graduation from the university.

“He’s accomplished so much,” she told Fox Detroit. “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 the both of them.”

Sharing the journey together didn’t just pertain to sharing the same school, but on several occasions, the three of them shared the same professors in the same classes. Since Pat McGill was working at the university while taking classes, he often had to perform his duties as a campus police officer, all while wearing the police officer uniform.

What the three would do after graduation or what kind of jobs Ryan and Regan McGill would get—future plans were still unknown, but regardless, the three seemed to have an inkling of what direction they would go in.

Regan McGill said she had plans to either attend graduate school or join the Air Force, and Ryan McGill said he wanted to become a physician’s assistant. As for Pat McGill, the oldest of the McGills, he said he planned to perfect his ability to make PowerPoint slides that he learned from school.

In addition, Pat McGill said he has another daughter—an 8-year-old—whom he may graduate next to someday in the future, implying that he may stay in school till then, but it is unknown.

“Hey, I’m kind of young,” Pat told the news outlet, jokingly.