Donna Waymire didn’t see the faculty stand when her name was called. Her focus was on hugging her son, Brian, who received his diploma just a few seconds earlier. But this was more than just a parent and child graduating together. In walking across the Cintas Center stage this spring, Waymire underscored the twin mysteries of love and faith.
A lifetime ago, Waymire, who is a staff assistant in the Williams College of Business, wouldn’t have envisioned this scenario. She planned to be a stay-at-home mom for Brian and his siblings, Kevin and Jennifer. But that plan changed tragically in 1995 when her husband, Patrick, a 1979 graduate, died of cancer at age 37.
He had prepared her to test the waters of the working world before he died, and the things she learned in that time transformed her life. Ultimately, his belief in her—and her faith in God—provided the underpinnings for whatever the future might hold.
In 1998, Waymire enrolled in her worst subject–composition—at the University of Cincinnati. She got a B. A year later, she began working at Xavier and started taking classes. With her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts now complete, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in counseling.
Her ultimate goal: “Help other young parents who are going through what I went through because I didn’t do it alone.”