After a divorce eight years ago, Laura London made a list of things she wanted to do. One of the things was to earn a bachelor's degree.
"One of the other things was to join the Peace Corps," London said. "And I had another goal to live on an island."
At the University of Northern Colorado's undergraduate commencement ceremonies Saturday, she'll not only be accomplishing her final goal, she'll also be graduating with both of her fraternal twin daughters, Katie and Kelly Coomes.
After receiving her associate's degree from Pikes Peak Community College in 2006, Laura joined the Peace Corps years and traveled to the Pacific island of Palau to teach English, while her daughters started their undergraduate degrees.
Kelly enrolled at UNC on a track and field scholarship. Her active lifestyle was a natural fit for the degree in Sport and Exercise Science with a Physical Education teaching concentration that she began pursuing.
Katie started out at the University of Wyoming, but joined her twin in Greeley after a year. With a passion for teaching, Katie started working on an Elementary Education degree.
When London returned from Palau after her two-year assignment, she decided to go for her bachelor's degree and joined Katie and Kelly at UNC.
With their schedules filled with school and a variety of extracurricular activities, the girls didn't share classes with their mom, or even each other.
Kelly spent a lot of her time outside class representing the Bears in track and field. In May she broke the school record for the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.99 seconds.
Katie's interests took her to intramural volleyball and a study abroad experience in Dublin, Ireland. She and her mom both worked at Michener Library.
London, who will receive her degree in Communication Studies, was an officer with Mortar Board and was involved with Lamba Pi Eta, the communications honors society.
"The three of us are very close, we joke that we triple date, but I rarely saw them on campus," London said. "They've been on their own for a while now, but they would come over for dinner once a week."
The girls both did their student teaching at Academy District 20 in Colorado Springs during their final undergraduate semester.
Kelly is applying for her teaching license and plans to begin teaching physical education next fall at her alma mater, Rampart High School in Colorado Springs.
Katie is looking for jobs in the Colorado Springs area, and plans on attending UNC's Teacher Employment Fair in April.
London will leave in January for a short Peace Corps assignment working at a library in the Guyana rainforest for six months.
After that she plans on attending graduate school, and hopes to work as a foreign services officer for the Department of State.
For now, the three of them will be enjoying the satisfaction of all their hard work paying off.
Kelly will be graduating cum laude, Katie magna cum laude and London, who of course had to set an example for her daughters, summa cum laude.
- Elizabeth Same, Junior Journalism Major
More information about commencement and the graduating class