|Centre Alumnae moms to receive late,
but great, Mother's Day gift
RELEASED: May 8, 2003
DANVILLE, KYDenise Catron Kirzinger graduated from Centre in 1968 and still remembers her last days as a senior.
"It was really hard to say goodbye," she said. "I cried all the way home."
Now, 35 years later, she's once again getting ready for Centre commencement as her daughter Whitney Kirzinger graduates later this month with a degree in math.
Kirzinger is one of nine Centre alumnae moms who will be making a trip back to their alma mater on May 25 for a son or daughter's graduation.
Denise Kirzinger tried to remain impartial during her daughter's college search. However, when Whitney was a Kentucky Governor's Scholar and lived in the same room in which her mother had spent her freshman year, Denise Kirzinger struggled to keep memories of her own first-year to herself.
"It was hard not to compare," Kirzinger said. "It was hard not to relive your good times."
Patsy Spoonamore Sides, Centre class of 1967, has mixed emotions about her son, Jonathan Sides, graduating.
"His graduation is going to begin a new chapter in all of our lives," she said. "I'm happy and a little sad at the same time."
Like his mother, Jonathan, who is majoring in economics, has different feelings about his graduation day.
"As a senior, you have a strong voice in your mind telling you to leave," he said. "But in the back of your mind, you know you have had such a great experience at Centre that it makes it hard to go."
Mary Marshall Hoy, Centre class of 1977, has two children at Centre, junior Zach Hoy and graduating senior Hannah Hoy.
"It's a nostalgic time, seeing your daughter going through commencement," Mary Hoy said. "You hope that she's prepared as she can be."
One of the most difficult parts of having children graduating from college, said Hoy, is keeping some advice to one's self. "Being a parent you kind of have to hold back and let them make their own decisions."
Having made the transition from Centre into the workplace, each mother had words of wisdom for the graduating class.
"Remember what you learned at Centre about working hard and being honest," said Patsy Sides, who majored in elementary education.
Also an elementary education major, Denise Kirzinger now works as an information specialist for Jefferson County Public Schools. She sends a simple message to her daughter and the class of 2003. "Value your liberal arts education," she said.
"When you go to a job interview and they ask if you can do something, you can say 'Yes,' " Kirzinger said. "You've had a touch of everything. I know it's a bad job market, but you've got the world at your feet."
An economics major at Centre, Mary Hoy now is a broker and a real estate appraiser. She urges graduates to get on-the-job experience soon after college and save travel for later.
"Go out into the workforce and start as soon as you can. Save traveling for when you have something in the bank; it'll be more fun that way."
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