By Madison Mathews
Johnson City Press reporter
MILLIGAN COLLEGE —Typically, students enrolled in Milligan College’s Master’s of Education program don’t get to see their loved ones that often during the intense 14-month-long program. But for Jonathan Lafollete and his wife Evie, things were a little bit easier since they were able to go through the program together.
“Doing it together made it a lot easier. She helped me out; I helped her out. It was just calming to be able to do it together,” Jonathan said Friday as he waited to walk across the stage of Seeger Chapel to receive the degree he worked so hard to obtain.
Although he and his wife have been out of the program since the summer, Jonathan said it was overwhelming to finally get that special piece of paper. Having gone through several different programs, Jonathan said his time at Milligan was better than anywhere he had studied before.
“I’ve been in several universities and this one was the best I’ve ever been in. The campus is beautiful. All the professors are helpful and they’ll do anything they can for you,” he said. “They go out of their way to make sure that you have a good experience and you learn everything you need to.”
Jonathan has been teaching at Greeneville High School since August, and Evie now teaches at Elizabethton High School. Jonathan said they wouldn’t have gotten through the program without the support of each other and the rest of their class.
“We went after it together. We all helped each other. We didn’t leave anybody behind and we had fun in the process,” he said.
The Lafollettes were just two of the 124 graduates who received their degrees Friday night during Milligan College’s December commencement ceremony.
While Lucinda Bellamy is still a student in Milligan’s master’s program in elementary education, she received her bachelor of science degree in child and youth development Friday night.
The mother of four was proud to have survived going through the bachelor’s program while also working on her master’s courses.
“This is a great feat for me to accomplish,” she said.
Bellamy has enjoyed her time at Milligan and is glad to still be in the family for a little while.
“You’re not just a number here,” she said. “I feel like I can call any of the professors I had here. They’re so nice, and I love them. I’ve had a great experience here.”
At certain points throughout the program, Bellamy said she did question whether or not she made the right decision to tackle both programs at the same time, but was able to do it with the support of her instructors and fellow classmates.
“You have so much support here that you just really can’t fail. They won’t allow it. They’re just behind you 100 percent,” she said.