Victorville mother, son, grandson graduate–together
Cal State S.B. students make it a family affair
When Karen Diane Ready walked across the stage at Cal State University, San Bernardino, to receive her bachelor’s degree in English-creative writing, she earned an induction into the rare air of achievement.
Not only did the 67-year-old Victorville mother graduate with honors, she shared the stage with her son and grandson. They didn’t plan it this way, but life events brought all three to the same college campus, from which they had the coincidental delight of graduating together.
Her son Garrett Leighton Willis, 29, received his degree in environmental studies from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Ready’s grandson, Gerren David Willis, is on track to receive his computer science degree from the College of Natural Sciences in December 2011. Both Gerren and Garrett were granted special permission to walk during Ready’s ceremony in the College of Arts and Letters.
“I’m thankful, blessed, it’s exciting …. It’s incredible to have three generations walking at commencement the same day. This is truly a family affair,” said Ready who is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
More than 3,000 students received their degrees during graduation ceremonies, which began at the college’s Palm Desert campus and concluded two days later with two ceremonies at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino.
Ready’s journey across the commencement stage came with its share of twists and turns. She retired as a registered nurse in 2005 to spend time with her husband Burley.
Unfortunately she says, “God had other plans for me and my family. Burley passed away shortly after I retired.”
With no desire to return to work, Ready went back to college at San Diego State University in 2006. She transferred to CSUSB after the family moved to Victorville.
“I discovered that I loved to write.” She plans to write books that shed light on the history of people of African descent. “There are significant historical misconceptions in English and American literature. Africans and Black people throughout the world have a responsibility to tell their own stories, celebrate and promote their cultures and achievements.”
By Chris Levister
“I am Black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me because I am Black because the sun hath scorched me.” —Song of Solomon
The 1960s not only birthed a political revolution, it created a Black cultural renaissance that impacted music, art, beauty and fashion. Known as the “Black is Beautiful” movement, the era brought a renewed sense of identity and pride.