May 27, 2009

A Family Commencement: Father, Son and Nephew Graduate Together

Steven Zamore surprised to receive his diploma after 38 years

Steven Zamore left Lafayette in 1970 after his junior year to attend medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He earned his M.D. in 1974, did his residency at Yale, and became an obstetrician and gynecologist in Connecticut. Although he was considered a member of Lafayette’s Class of 1971, Steven often complained he did not have a Lafayette diploma and couldn’t get it because he was two courses short for his biology degree.

Steven’s wife, Peggy, had heard the story often. She thought it would be nice to surprise him with his Lafayette diploma. And what better time than this Commencement when their son, Zachary Zamore, and nephew, Matthew Zamore, were graduating as members of the Class of 2009? Peggy, Zac, and Matt secretly contacted Lafayette to ask whether courses Steven had taken in medical school could be counted towards the two missing biology courses.

At a family dinner the evening before Commencement, Zac stood up to make a speech and handed his father a mortar board hat.

“I said, Dad, you’re walking with us tomorrow,” Zac recounted. “This is your cap and gown.”

“I was surprised and shocked,” says Steven. “The whole family knew about this but me. It brought a tear to my eye.”

So Steven’s wish came true May 23 when he walked up in line between his nephew and son to receive a diploma from President Daniel Weiss.

“The graduation ceremony was terrific,” says Steven. “It was fantastic to be there as a recipient, especially because I was sitting between my son and nephew.”

“I am grateful to Frank Benginia, Lafayette’s registrar,” says Peggy Zamore. “He agreed it made sense to grant Steve his degree by accepting medical school credits to cover the missing biology credits. While this won’t change Steve’s life in any way, it brings completion and closure–a great feeling for him.”

Diploma firmly in hand, now Steven must make a big decision: will he continue to attend reunions with his original Class of 1971 or now join his son and nephew and the Class of 2009?

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