Family pride as father and three children all graduate from Queen’s

Three siblings and their father graduate together this summer from Queen's University; Shannon Clements, Holly Clements, Pierce Clements and their father Michael Clements
Three siblings and their father graduate together this summer from Queen's University; Shannon Clements, Holly Clements, Pierce Clements and their father Michael Clements

It has been a busy week for a Carrickfergus dentist and his family with four of them all graduating from university at the same time.

Michael Clements, his son Pierce and his daughters Holly and Shannon all graduated from Queen’s University Belfast this week.

Shannon graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Dental Surgery, sister Holly graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Primary Education from Stranmillis University and 21-year-old Pierce graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics.

Father of the three graduates, Michael graduated with a Master of Science in Clinical Education from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.

Shannon, who is following on her father’s career path, graduated at the same ceremony as him on Saturday.

She said: “It has been fantastic following in dad’s footsteps too and I was really proud to be graduating the same day as him, it was pretty special. Not many people can say they got to share the stage with their dad.

“We graduated on Saturday, June 30, my brother graduated on the 28th of June with his first in Maths and finance. My sister is graduating on Tuesday (July 3) with her bachelor in Education.

“I’m 23, my sister is 22 and my brother is 21, so we left school one year apart. My degree was five years, Holly’s was four years and Pierce’s was three years, so we just happened to graduate the same summer.

“We had a big celebration with our family after the first one, big family BBQ the other night.”

How did Michael, Shannon’s dad, feel graduating in the same summer as his son and daughters?

“He’s been really proud with the whole thing, he’s loved it,” Shannon said, “it’s been fantastic. He graduated with his dental degree 31 years ago and happened to graduate in the same ceremony with me, it was pretty cool.”

With four members of the same family all in the final stages of their degree, there was one person who held them all together, mum Karen.

Shannon added: “Mum’s been great through everything, she’s had to deal with everyone’s stress so she has been a fantastic support. It’s been great to come home for cooking as well.

“I think everyone gets their own different rooms for studying, I felt sorry for mum not being able to talk in any of the rooms. The last stage with all the finals and dad’s dissertation, it’s been kind of crazy - but she’s been fantastic keeping us all sane.”