The Mercy College 2023 Commencement ceremony will offer a rare and special moment for members of one family, as Kim Barry Boeheim and her son David Boeheim take their place among fellow graduating students in the School of Business. When degrees are conferred, each will cross the stage, shake hands with President Tim Hall, and join the legions of Mercy College alumni.
Both mother and son have been working diligently to complete their degree requirements in time for Mercy’s graduation ceremonies. Kim, who holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the State University of New York at Albany, will receive her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, while David will receive his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
For Kim, the accomplishment culminates three years of part-time study while continuing to work full time in the Office of the Mercy College President. “I decided to take my time so I wouldn’t feel under too much pressure,” she said. Working in higher education is her second career, following two decades in finance and raising her family. “Getting my master’s has been on my bucket list for years.”
Although Kim began her course work a year before David started at Mercy, the two quickly turned to each other for support and encouragement. “I hadn’t written a paper since my early years of undergraduate studies, and I asked for David’s guidance in the proper writing style to make sure I was doing it correctly,” Kim said. David added that talking to his mother about classwork was “…like talking to any other serious student. Plus, since she finished her capstone ahead of me, she gave me a few good tips.”
It wasn’t until Kim was working on her capstone project that they realized they would be graduating at the same time. At first, Kim, not wanting to steal David’s thunder, planned to witness Commencement as a proud parent in the audience, not as a graduating student. “I felt this was his moment,” she said. But colleagues urged her to reconsider. “They told me it’s a big deal and very special moment,”. They called it a great Mercy story.”
David and his father also campaigned for Kim to join in the ceremony. “She was afraid it would detract from my achievement, but it’s her achievement, too,” he said. “When word of our story got around campus, there was no way she could say no.”
Both Kim and David have expressed gratitude for the support and encouragement they received throughout their educational journey. “The minute I walked onto the Manhattan Campus, I knew Mercy was the place for me,” said David. Kim, too, has been looking back on her Mercy experience. “When I took my first college class after so many years, I was a bit nervous about the hard work ahead of me. But when I finally earned my degree and received my diploma in the mail, it was all worth it. I was surprised by how emotional I felt, holding that piece of paper.”