Mother, son graduate together at Albany State

May 14—ALBANY — Albany State University has always held a special place in the heart of Roderick Hubbard. Since he was little, Hubbard had a deep connection with ASU. He would visit with his grandmother, former Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, who worked at the college, and his mother, Yolanda Hubbard, who attended as an undergraduate student.

The Hubbards have a strong family legacy of attending ASU. Attendees include Roderick Hubbard's grandmother, his wife, his uncle, his brother, his sister-in-law, and various cousins. The Hubbard connection deepened recently as Roderick and his mother walked across the same stage and earned graduate degrees.

"We are very proud of our daughter and grandson for their achievements," family matriarch Dorothy Hubbard said. "I can't say enough about the Hubbard family's belief in lifelong learning and education. They both continue a long legacy within the Hubbard family of obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees from Albany State University and accomplishing great things.

"We come from a long line of ASU graduates, and it is important to me that our children, their children, and their children's children see these accomplishments so they may earn their degrees from ASU as well."

His recent accomplishment was Roderick Hubbard's third degree from ASU. He graduated in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in middle grades education, and in 2021 with a master's degree in educational leadership. This time, Hubbard graduated with the university's highest degree offered, the educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership.

Yolanda Hubbard is also no stranger to an ASU graduation, having received an allied health sciences bachelor's degree in 2011. She received a master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in human resources.

During their time enrolled, the pair spent many nights at the table writing papers together and pushing each other not to give up. Roderick even helped his mother adjust to online learning.

"This was an opportunity for us to celebrate our achievements together and reflect on the hard work and dedication that led us to that moment," Roderick Hubbard said. "I do believe I'm prouder of my mom than I am of myself."

Yolanda said her most recent degree was dedicated to her grandchildren.

"After graduation, my grandchildren ran up to us, and said, 'You graduated!'" she noted. "This degree is all about them for me. When school and life get hard, I can always remind them that GiGi did it much older, so they can do it, too."

Now the newly graduated Hubbards are ready to use their new degrees in their professions. Roderick is the assistant principal at Morningside Elementary School in the Dougherty County School System. He said he hopes to become a principal, move on to district leadership, and teach at ASU. Yolanda works at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

And while the pair have made their mark on Albany State, they say their time at their alma mater isn't over. They plan to support the university as alumni throughout the year.

"Albany State University is the best HBCU there is," Roderick Hubbard said. "We must support ASU in every way, not only at homecoming. Our dear school is truly a union of work and inspiration."