It’s not easy to work a full-time job, raise a family and go to school “off and on for years,” but Lavone Broxton, motivated by his wife and daughters, finally earned his undergraduate degree. His walk across the Commencement stage was made even sweeter on Thursday, June 10 as he shared graduation day with his daughter, Tiiera Broxton.
The ceremony for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was one of 18 planned small ceremonies for June 7 through June 13 for a Class of 2021 remarkable for its resilience and perseverance during the pandemic.
Lavone and Tiiera Broxton earned degrees in Sociology, and now their home in Newark, New Jersey, is brimming with Red Hawk pride: Lavone’s spouse and Tiiera’s mother, Rhonda Robinson-Broxton, earned two graduate degrees from Montclair State, a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2013 and a Master of Education in 2019.
Two older daughters, Siiera and Kiiera, hold master’s degrees and Kiiera is currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University.
“I didn’t want to be the only person in a family who didn’t go to school,” Lavone says.
Lavone Broxton is the associate director of Postal and Warehouse Services at Montclair State and took advantage of the University’s employee tuition waiver program to finish up what he originally started in 2007.
“Once I saw that I could have the opportunity to graduate at the same time as Tiiera, that was the push that inspired me,” he says.
They’re not done yet. In the fall, Lavone will begin graduate work in Montclair State’s new Master of Arts in Higher Education program, and Tiiera will begin a master’s program in social work at Rutgers University.
Asked about her father’s achievement, Tiiera, who worked on campus in a student position in fire safety, says her dad is “a walking example that age is nothing but a number and you can achieve any goal you put your mind to.”
Story by Staff Writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren
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