Belinda and Karea Berry, a grandmother who graduated college alongside the granddaughter she raised.
Credit: Courtesy GradImages

CHICAGO, IL – This graduation season, a grandmother and granddaughter graduated together from Chicago State University on December 14.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, Grandmother Belinda Berry, who is 62 years old, and granddaughter Karea Berry, who is 25 years old, waited nervously in the Raucous Jones Convention Center for their names to be called.

“It was never planned, we both enrolled in school, and we didn’t know we were going to finish together because I was full-time and she was part-time, and it just worked out that way,” said Karea.

Belinda was top of her class, creating some friendly competition for her granddaughter while earning her bachelors degree in business.

“I have always stressed that education is power,” said Belinda, who went back to school part-time to improve her employment prospects.

“She graduated with a 3.8 GPA and health issues during her last two semesters and so for her to come out on top even more than me is amazing, so she is my inspiration,” said Karea, who graduated with a bachelors degree in criminal justice.

Karea will start in CSU’s Masters in Mental Health Counseling Program in 2018. Belinda is also pursuing a masters in business.

“I am very honored to be a role model, and I hope that I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it is never too late to pursue an education,” Belinda said.

As a predominately black institution, Chicago State University is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs on the south side of Chicago. CSU celebrates 150 years of serving academic excellence as well as its sesquicentennial.

It was CSU 361st graduation ceremony, but it is the first time a grandmother and granddaughter have graduated together.

“Diversity is valuable not just for the sake of diversity, but for what it engenders for each of the students,” said Rachel Lindsey, interim president of Chicago State University.

For more information about Chicago State University, please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>