Families, friends and members of the Truman State University community filled Stokes Stadium to celebrate a significant accomplishment for hundreds of students.
One after the other, students of Truman State University walked across the stage receiving what one man describes as a first for his family.
??It's a move upward. I mean I see my kids do a little bit better than me. I have an AA in ElectronicEngineering and to see them graduate with Bachelors and Masters and probably PhD's is just a foundation for the others coming behind them to follow,?? said Don Winston Sr.
Winston, of Chicago, took a six hour trip to witness his only daughter receive her ticket to adulthood.
??It feels wonderful. I know I really accomplished something and I??m just so grateful, so proud of myself. I know my family's proud of me. This brings my family together for this wonderful moment in my life and it's amazing,?? said 2014 graduate, ReeAnna Winston.
ReeAnna received a Bachelors in Health Science and although she is the first to do so in her family, she will not be the last.
??I'm proud of her. I'm glad to see her graduate and move forward in life. It also makes me happy because I only have a few years to graduate myself. I just see both of us growing together. It's a good feeling,?? said her brother, Don Winston Jr.
With about 1,100 students celebrating alongside the Winston??s, ReeAnna says she's sure they all share one common feeling.
??The truck is packed, so after I??m done saying my goodbyes, we're hitting the road back to Chicago. It's just really sweet right now, very sweet,?? said ReeAnna.