Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Metro State Pride: Alumni Award Recipient Shirley Phillips one of 10 family members with Metro State degree

In the early 1970's, Shirley Phillips (’76, early childhood education) and four of her relatives made a pact to all get a college education. That commitment started a family tradition of Metro State graduations that continues today.

According to Phillips, the reasons the family chose Metro were many. Metro State allowed members the flexibility to work or help out in the family business (at one time Shirley and her husband owned 22 gas stations), while obtaining their degrees. As well, the family appreciated the school's reputation and the high-quality faculty.

“This is one of the top schools in the region,” she explained.

So far 10 members of the extended Phillips clan have earned diplomas from Metro State. Matriarch Shirley Phillips led the way, followed by four of her children—Tracie, Vernoica, Stephanie and Michael—; her cousin Terrell McGary; sisters Maria and Debbie Phillips (Shirley's nieces); Debbie’s daughter Durinda Robinson; and Shirley’s husband’s cousin Aris Strong. In the fall of 2008, Micah McCellan, another young relative, started his education at the college.

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