Mother, daughter graduate together from University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A mother and daughter duo are now both Ivy League graduates.

Stephanie Pierson and her firstborn, Arielle, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania on Monday as part of the class of 2020.

"Something I always tell my mom is we've never been conventional in the way we approach things in life and this proved again we're anything but conventional," said Arielle.

And it was quite the unconventional celebration for this extraordinary duo who both graduated summa cum laude.

"There's a little friendly competition in there," Arielle said jokingly.

Stephanie started at UPenn in 2007, but changed course to cross the finish line along with her daughter.

"I was really pleasantly surprised that she wanted to do it together, so I actually stalled a little bit," Stephanie said.

"Her major for undergraduate is Latin American border studies and one of the requirements for her courses was a pre-colonial Latin American history. So she was actually able to take two anthropology courses with me," Arielle said.

Arielle credits her mom for being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honors society.

"I always saw her succeeding in what she did so I wanted to emulate that," Arielle said.

The pair look forward to eventually getting the chance to get the traditional stroll along Locust Walk.

UPenn set a date for an actual in-person graduation in May of 2021.

Arielle will soon start working as a paralegal at an immigration law firm and Stephanie plans on finishing her masters in non-profit leadership.


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