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Oggs graduate ... times three
May 16, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
The graduation May 5 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was a triple celebration for the Ogg family of Riverton.
Christi Ogg and daughter Brandi, 32, walked together at the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing ceremony.
Also that day, Ogg's younger daughter, Kimberli, 26, received her degree in speech language and hearing sciences.
"When we tell people, they think it's pretty cool," Brandi said about the three graduating together. "We get a lot of comments about it."
Although the three Ogg women's achievements were recognized on the same day, they took different paths to attain their degrees.
Christi became a registered nurse through Central Wyoming College in 2006. Three years ago she was encouraged to pursue a bachelor's of science in nursing degree through the UW Outreach program in Riverton, which extends the university's educational programs through distance learning. She said the bachelor's degree opens doors for nurses to administrative positions.
Brandi already had a business degree under her belt when she walked with her mother during this month's nursing graduation.
"She was in business, but I always thought she'd be a good nurse," Christi said.
Brandi enrolled in UW's program, Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree, which is an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing outreach program for students with previous non-nursing bachelor degrees who desire to become registered nurses.
She wasn't planning to walk during the UW commencement because she had already experienced it when she earned her first degree.
But her decision changed when she learned that both her sister and mother would be graduating.
"I wouldn't have walked if they weren't," she said.
Before enrolling at UW, Kimberli earned an associate degree at CWC.
"I got my associates degree at the same time as my mom," she said. "I have been at UW for three years. The first year was catching up on classes that I didn't take at CWC."
The family said they had never planned to graduate together, but rather it was perfect timing that led to the event, Christi said.
"We figured it out last spring," she said.
The youngest Ogg graduate didn't feel bothered that her mother and older sister would be joining her on the special day.
"I was more excited to do it with them," Kimberli said.
Christi, who has five other children, admitted initial reservations about participating in the ceremony with her daughters.
"I did worry about taking away from their day," Christi said. "I probably wouldn't have walked."
All three agree that working toward degrees at the same time proved to be beneficial during the hard days.
"We could be a support to each other and talk on familiar ground," Christi said.
"We definitely cried and shared our joy when we got the As," she said. "It was nice because everyone could relate."
They all giggled when recalling how their family was happy they were able to get three graduations done in one day, especially since the ceremony lasted five hours.
"We are very lucky because we had support from one another, and it was nice to have the family there," Kimberli said.
Christi said one memory that will stick out about graduation is the nurse pinning ceremony. She said when mothers of the graduates were asked to stand up and be recognized, she did so. And then graduates were asked to stand up and be recognized, and she stood up next to her daughter.
"It was kind of fun," Brandi said.
With graduation in the rearview mirror, the three Oggs have major plans for the next few months.
Christi is in the midst of changing jobs, Brandi has a summer residency to do in the emergency room at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, and Kimberli will be living in Riverton in the summer before she heads to Oklahoma to pursue a master's degree.
Despite her accomplishment, Christi is more proud of her daughters.
"I am so proud of my girls and their hard work," she said. "It's new beginnings for all of us."