THE GIFT OF GRADUATION

Filed under BETHUNE-COOKMAN, DAYTONA BEACH

Fourth member of family gets degree from Bethune-Cookman

FROM STAFF REPORTS

When Deon Wilkins and his brother, Devon, were boys, their parents would take them to every Bethune-Cookman home football game.

“We would sit next to the band and cheer,” Deon said. “It was a part of our family tradition since both my parents had been Marching Wildcats.”

The Wilkins family: Ava, Devon, Deon (holding diploma) and Gary stand beside B-CU President Edison O. Jackson. The entire Wilkins family now holds degrees from the university.(JOHN REEVES/BCU)

The Wilkins family: Ava, Devon, Deon (holding diploma) and Gary stand beside B-CU President Edison O. Jackson. The entire Wilkins family now holds degrees from the university.
(JOHN REEVES/BCU)

On Saturday, Deon became the fourth member of his immediate family to graduate from Bethune-Cookman University. His father Gary, a tuba player in the band, graduated in 1985 from then-Bethune-Cookman College. His mother Ava, who played saxophone, graduated in 1987 and older brother Devon graduated in May.

“B-CU was the only college that I applied for. I knew I wanted to go to school with my brother and this was our only choice,” Deon said.

Rewards are many
For Deon, the road to graduation has been long and tough. The computer engineering major recalled many a night spent in study groups or alone in a computer lab.

“I am relieved that it’s over because I had an arduous major that required a ton of study time,” he said. “But, I will always remember Bethune-Cookman University as the place where I became a better student and a better human being.”

The journey has been hard, but the rewards are many, said Deon, who plans to study for a master’s and Ph.D. in computer engineering at Florida International University. Still, he will remember B-CU as a place where his family began.

“My parents met here as students and now my brother and I are graduates,” Deon remarked. “I could not be more proud of my family and this institution.”

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