Mother-son pair graduate together from St. Scholastica

By KBJR News 1

May 9, 2014 Updated May 9, 2014 at 9:52 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Commencement ceremonies at the College of St. Scholastica happen to fall on Mother's day weekend this year... and the ceremony will be especially memorable for one Iron Range mother–son pair.

Nearly every day for the past two years 51–year–old Diane Swanson has driven four hours to get to and from Babbit to attend accelerated St. Scholastica social work classes at Fond du Lac Community College in Cloquet and Scholastica in Duluth.

"We get to kind of share this moment together," said her son Sam.

Now Swanson's hard–work and dedication is paying off.

Diane and her son Sam will be graduating together from St. Scholastica at this weekend's ceremony at the DECC.

"No one else is doing it that way," said Sam.

"It wasn't planned," said his mom.

She says Sam has helped her in more ways than she can count in her two years at Scholastica.

For one night each week since September 2012, Diane stayed at Sam's house.

Even Sam's roommates came to appreciate the unusual arrangement.

"I'd have people, 'hey your mom, Mama Swan is coming up today... It's Wednesday right?' so they'd come over, we'd go out to eat, do homework together," said Sam.

"His roommate Jeff, I walked into the storm den one time for lunch and I was just going to sit by myself and Jeff actually invited me to come and have lunch with him and another friend, and I'm like 'yeah I'm cool,'" said Diane.

Although Sam did reap a number of benefits while having his mom stay at his house once a week for the past two years, he did return the much appreciated favors.

"Actually I did a lot of the cooking, I'm going to take credit for that, and I took the couch, too. I gave her my room so she had a quiet place to do stuff and it worked out really well," said Sam.

Diane will be graduating with a bachelor's degree in social work, while Sam will get his degree in nursing.

At St. Scholastica's nursing pinning ceremony on Friday Diane pinned on Sam's nursing lapel, symbolizing all of his hard work.

"Looking forward to getting out into professional practice, and maybe we'll work alongside each other there, too," said Sam.

Sam has already been hired by St. Mary's in Duluth as a nurse.

His mother Diane says she will continue to work at the crisis shelter for Lutheran Social Services in Virginia, but will continues to look for a position as a full–time social worker.

Elsa Robins