Lorna Holmes experienced a range of emotions as she marched across the Oval in April to celebrate her graduation from Colorado State University’s College of Business.
Holmes thought about her mother, who she lost when she was 20 years old, and her father, who passed just five years ago, and how proud they would have been to see her complete her degree. Her thoughts also focused on her daughter, Morgan Sehi, and the pride she felt that her child was also graduating from CSU this year.
“When I walked down the Oval and got to that stage, it was very emotional for me,” she said. “I was filled with such pride. Going to college part time with a full-time career, I reflected on the achievement of my lifelong goal in finishing my degree, graduating with distinction, and at the same time celebrating my daughter’s completion of her degree.”
In the past three years, Holmes and her daughter have been there for each other, creating a unique bond not experienced by many parents and children.
“My mom and I have always been pretty close,” said Sehi, who is graduating with honors from the College of Health and Human Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design. “Our relationship has definitely gotten closer as I’ve grown older, and it became even stronger when she came to CSU.”
Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in organization and innovation management, and a certificate in leadership. She also minored in construction management.
Holmes earned her associate’s degree in accounting at Northeast Community College in Nebraska. She was working toward her bachelor’s when she moved to Colorado more than 20 years ago.
“I was waiting to get a year’s worth of residency to be able to get more affordable tuition; and within that year, my daughter was born,” Holmes said. “I put the pursuit of my degree on hold to raise her and enjoy spending time with her. No regrets in that decision.”
At CSU, the two would regularly meet for coffee on campus to catch up on life and school. When COVID-19 hit, those gatherings went virtual, but through it all, the two were there for each other.
“We often refer to ourselves as the other’s cheerleader,” Sehi said. “To have somebody that’s always there and experiencing it with you in real time means so much.”
Holmes, who works for the City of Loveland as a facilities management superintendent, said her college experience has been beneficial in her professional growth. Sehi added that her mother’s facilities management experience helped her with her interior architecture and design projects.
Looking back at her college experience, Holmes said she enjoyed making personal connections with faculty, staff and the students. Most importantly, she was thrilled to share this experience with her daughter, who is starting an internship at a leading design firm in Seattle.
“We really were a support system for each other,” Holmes said. “We would bounce ideas off of each other and talk about projects we were working on. But the most important thing was we got each other across the finish line.”