Mother, son set to graduate together from University of Houston - Downtown

Renita Gray and son Anthony Taylor. (UHD, UHD)

HOUSTON – A woman and her son are both set to graduate together Saturday from the University of Houston - Downtown.

The son, Anthony Taylor, was surprised by his mother, Renita Gray, on Thanksgiving during a family gathering as he handed out invitations to his virtual commencement from UHD’s Marilyn Davies College of Business.

Gray surprised the family by presenting her own invitations for her graduation.

“She started handing out invitations for HER graduation celebration,” said Taylor, who will receive his master of business administration this weekend. “I had no idea she was even enrolled at a university.”

“I had kept it a secret,” Gray said. “It was a perfect surprise and a memorable holiday moment.”

Taylor said he was very proud of his mother and all of the sacrifices she’s made, calling her an inspiration.

“I am tremendously proud of my mom,” he said. “She has made countless sacrifices and continues to do so. She is an inspiration to me. She’s proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

Gray said she had to put her degree on pause to focus on her career and family. Once she was able to start college again, she found UHD. She said it was closer to her job -- working for the city of Houston.

“We’ll be together,” Gray said. “This timed out perfectly, and I can’t think of a better way to graduate than with my son at my side.”

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