Mother and daughter graduate with honors


Mothers always seem to worry about their children.

Viola Weiss' worries increased when she and her daughter Christine both enrolled in Howard Community College's nursing


"It was nice having the company of Christine in my classes, but I was always worried for her, whether she was studying enough or passing her classes," said Mrs. Weiss. "I had to worry about how I was doing, too. I was doubly worried."

Both graduated with honors yesterday at the two-year college's 22nd commencement. More than 160 students were awarded degrees.

Television veteran Sally Thorner was commencement speaker.

"I hope by this time next year, we'll all have a job," she told the standing-room-only crowd.

She repeated President Clinton's call for community service and challenged graduates not only to "look at how much money you can earn, but how you can give back to your community, your country, your world."

College President Dwight A. Burrill called last night's ceremony a family event.

Among the graduates were a husband-and-wife team, duos of siblings, and college employees and their children. He addressed Mrs. Weiss and her daughter: "You've gone through the program. You've done well -- and you're still talking."

Mrs. Weiss once had sacrificed going to college to raise her three children. Returning to school fulfilled a dream for her.

"This was something I wanted to do for a long time," she said. "When the kids were grown, I felt it was my turn."

Jobs were scarce when Christine Weiss graduated from the University of Delaware with an English degree in 1991.

After a summer of fruitlessly searching for a job, she signed up for the nursing program.

"I wanted a job that would make a difference," said the middle child.

Her mother had always encouraged her to become a nurse.

"It is very hard for anyone on the outside to understand what we go through as nursing students," said Christine Weiss. "We were there for each other when we needed a shoulder."

Mrs. Weiss plans to take the summer off to relax before she

looks for a job.

Christine has landed a job at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.

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