‘She really killed it‘: Ottawa mother, daughter to graduate from university together

A mother and daughter in Ottawa say they’re proud of each other as they prepare to graduate from the same university program on Wednesday.

Suzanne Gahagan says she broke the news to her daughter “gently” that she would be going back to school and taking the same program at the same school at the same time.

Gahagan was returning to get her master’s degree in legal studies at Carleton University after 20 years away from school. Daughter Mackenzie Gahagan had just signed up for the program.

Suzanne says she was concerned that it might ruin her daughter’s experience.

Mackenzie admits that having her mother in her class was “an adjustment.”

But it also ended up having its upsides, she says. “It meant (I) always got to hold (my) homework buddy accountable … because (she was) always there.”

Suzanne agreed that the experience only made them stronger, comparing it to travel.

“When you travel with someone, if you have a strong relationship, you finish the journey in a stronger position,” she explained.

Suzanne added that she hopes to pause on stage after getting her degree to wait for daughter to get receive hers, and she fully expects to cry.

Mackenzie says she believes it will be a moment she’ll cherish.

“I’m proud I got to see her in the classroom and see her work ethic,” she says of her mom. “I’m proud because she really killed it.”

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Leah Laroque