At 48, Dawn Roy had a good job with the Jefferson County Treasurer, had a couple kids on their way to college and was content.

But how could Roy, now 53, ever preach the importance of an education without earning one herself? 

“I thought I’d do something for myself,” she said.

And she did, finishing her undergraduate finance degree at Regis this spring. Making it all the mores special, Roy will cross the stage to receive her degree along with her daughter, Morgan, and son, Justin.

Morgan Roy is graduating with her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Justin Roy is earning an undergraduate degree in Business Administration.

“I’m just overfilled with pride and excitement,” Dawn Roy said. “It’s the whole family’s achievement and it makes me thrilled to no end. I’m very emotional about it.”

Making it even more unique, the Roys often had classes together. Dawn and Morgan took multiple classes together when Morgan was an undergraduate. Dawn and Justin also had several.

It meant working together in groups, as classmates and not necessarily as parent and child.

“We’d do introductions and I’d say, ‘I’m Justin Roy.’ Then we’d go down the line and she’d say, ‘I’m Dawn Roy,’” Justin said. “There would be a long pause and then I’d finally say, ‘Yup that’s my mom.’”

Going to school at the same time and having classes together led to some family rivalry. Parent and siblings sometimes competed in class to see who received the best grade. Morgan insists she has the highest GPA and neither Dawn nor Justin would confirm it, or argue with it.

Dawn will continue her work at the Jefferson County Treasurer’s office. Morgan plans to open her own practice in Longmont, while Justin is going to pursue a job in finance. With all three getting ready for graduation — and ready to welcome in cousins, uncles, aunts and family from all over — the Roys are glad they completed their educations.

To do it all together — and become the first college graduates in their family — makes it all the more rewarding.

“We think getting a degree equals money. That’s true, but it’s so much more,” Dawn said. “A degree gives you a whole well-rounded appreciation for life. I learned so much at Regis that I never thought I’d learn. To do it with my kids makes it so much more special.”