MOTHER, DAUGHTER SHARE MILESTONE

June 23, 2001 12:00 am
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER: Carol Kroll, left, and her daughter, Jennifer, both graduated from college the morning of June 16. Carol graduated from Eastern Oregon University, and Jennifer graduated from the University of Oregon. (Submitted photo).
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER: Carol Kroll, left, and her daughter, Jennifer, both graduated from college the morning of June 16. Carol graduated from Eastern Oregon University, and Jennifer graduated from the University of Oregon. (Submitted photo).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Carol Kroll and her daughter, Jennifer, were about 300 air miles apart the morning of June 16.

The divide was bridged, however, by a common experience.

Carol and Jennifer both received their undergraduate degrees at commencement ceremonies in La Grande and in Eugene. Carol received a bachelors degree in general studies from Eastern Oregon University, and Jennifer received a bachelors degree in elementary education from the University of Oregon.

The Krolls hadnt planned to graduate on the same day.

It was an accident, Carol said.

Mother and daughter may be equal in terms of degrees, but Carol may have the most wisdom to share. Jennifer credits her mom with providing remarkable advice and support. What did her mom help her with?

Everything, from showing me how to deal with people to living on my own, said Jennifer, a 1995 La Grande High School graduate.

Jennifer plans to teach elementary school. She thus will follow the footsteps of her father, Larry Kroll, who taught wood technology at La Grande High School for 31 years before retiring in 2000. Jennifer was one of her fathers LHS students. She was impressed with how much her fathers students liked and respected him.

I hope to have as good a relationship with my students as my Dad did with his, Jennifer said.

Her mother is sure she will.

Children like her. She is a kid magnate, Carol Kroll said. Shes just a natural.

Carol, EOUs director of human resources, started pursuing her degree in 1984. Her progress was sometimes slow because she was raising a family and working full time. Often she could take just one class a term.

Carol wishes that she and her daughter could have received their degrees together, but it was not meant to be. Carol wanted to walk at EOUs graduation so that she could receive her diploma from EOUs president.

I wanted Phil Creighton to hand me my diploma. I think that highly of him, Carol said.

Family members did not have to choose which graduation ceremony to attend. The reason: Jennifer will graduate again next June from U of O with a masters degree in elementary education.

The family thus decided to attend Carols graduation in La Grande June 16 and go to Jennifers masters degree commencement in Eugene next year. Carol said she would have not have missed her daughters commencement this year if Jennifer were not graduating again in 2002.

Carol would have preferred it if EOUs and U of Os graduation had been on different days this year so that her family could have attended both. On the plus side, the schedule conflict made graduation more memorable.

Well never have trouble remembering our graduation day, Carol said.