Couple shares graduate experience

CNJ Staff Photo: Liliana Castillo Luis Colon and his wife Erica inspect their diplomas after they both graduated with associate’s degree in general studies Friday at Clovis Community College’s commencement ceremony.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

At one time Luis Colon had to be convinced by his family to go to college. Now he can’t seem to stop.

Colon and his wife Erica graduated together Friday at Clovis Community College’s commencement. Erica Colon, 27, graduated with an associate degree in general studies with an emphasis in science. Luis Colon, 33, graduated with an associate’s degree in general studies and an associate degree in applied science with a emphasis in criminal justice. But neither one sees graduation as an end.

Luis Colon will begin on-line courses to get his bachelor degree in security management on Monday, while Erica Colon intends to head into the nursing program at CCC. Both the husband and wife said it’s cool that they’re graduating together.

“It’s another way to bring us together,” Erica Colon said.

“And it’s good for the memories,” her husband added.

While the couple waited for graduation to begin, draped in a bright blue gown with matching caps donning their heads, the two talked about how they did homework together.

Another graduate, 19-year-old Refugio Pina Jr. stood quietly in line before the processional. Pina received his certificate of completion in automotive technology and plans to work in a mechanic shop. But his eyes lit up when be began to talk about his true passion, drag racing cars.

“I really want to get into one of those. Work on it, fix it up and race it,” Pina said.

Pina, a Portales resident, said his parents, two sisters, wife, daughter, mother-in-law, three sisters-in-law and a nephew were among the approximately 800 family members and friends in the audience.

Seventy graduates participated in Friday’s ceremony.