Mother and Daughter Degrees

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Mother and daughter to receive college degrees on same day

May 15, 2019 - 11:14 am

(WCBS 880) -- Graduation day at Wililam Paterson University will be a family affair today for a mother and daughter receiving their degrees together.

After coming to the U.S. from Columbia, Sandra Murillo worked cleaning boats, selling flowers, bartending, babysitting and more.

Now at age 46, she is a college graduate.

"Isn't that an amazing experience?," she said.

To make this even more satisfying, her fellow William Paterson grad is her daughter Katherinn Lopez Murillo.



"It means the world because it was so unexpected honestly and it was just so overwhelming," Lopez Murillo added.

Mother and daughter were separated for nearly 10 years, with Sandra in the U.S., while Katherinn was with her grandparents in Columbia.

Katherinn is 25 and didn't think she was cut out for college.

"She was my motivation. I just couldn't let her down. After all her struggles I just couldn't see myself disappointing her," she said.

Katherinn majored in criminal justice and her mom in public health.