Belfast Telegraph

Family affair at Queen's as dad, daughters and son graduate days apart

Michael Clements with daughters Shannon and Holly and son Pierce
Michael Clements with daughters Shannon and Holly and son Pierce
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A Newtownabbey family have been celebrating a high degree of success - with no less than four of them graduating from Queen's University within the space of a few days.

Dentist dad Michael Clements (54) joined his daughter Shannon (23) as they graduated from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences on Thursday.

The family were back at Queen's on Saturday when son Pierce (21) graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics with Finance from the School of Maths and Physics.

The whole family will make the trip from their Jordanstown home to Queen's again tomorrow when daughter Holly (22) becomes the fourth member to don the robes as she receives her Bachelor Degree in Primary Education from Stranmillis University.

"I'm immensely proud of them all. It's quite amazing how it all worked out that the four of us managed to reach this stage in the same summer," said dad Michael, who was awarded his Master of Science in Clinical Education.

"My course should have lasted four years, but I took a gap year at one point. My oldest daughter Shannon was on a five-year course, Holly's lasted four years and Pierce has just completed his three-year course.

"They all left BRA once year after the other. It wasn't really planned to happen this way.

"To share the stage with my daughter Shannon last week made me immensely proud, and to go back again and again as the other children graduated has made this a week to remember."

Michael originally graduated from Queen's at the same time as his wife Karen back in 1987 "so we have a history of this sort of thing", he said. "I have to say a special word for Karen, as she's been the driving force behind all our studies. Hopefully we've all done her proud," he added.

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