Three degrees of pride for Sunderland family

June Clark with her sons Phillip Clark and Tom Fletcher, who have all been awarded degrees by Sunderland University.
June Clark with her sons Phillip Clark and Tom Fletcher, who have all been awarded degrees by Sunderland University.
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A FAMILY was a degree above the rest when three of them graduated together.

June Clark, her son Tom Fletcher, and stepson Phillip Clark, all gained degrees from Sunderland University together.

The trio were all presented with their qualifications at the Stadium of Light.

After five years’ part-time study, June, 47, graduated with a degree in psychology; Phillip, 24, graduated with a first-class honours in network computing, while 22-year-old songwriter and guitarist Tom was awarded his degree in jazz, popular and commercial music.

And June’s eldest stepson, Adam Clark, 27, also graduated from the university with a degree in marketing in 2007.

June, a former dental nurse, from Thornhill, said: “Getting a degree at Sunderland has become a bit of habit in our house.

“I’m a Sunderland girl, so it was an obvious choice to study here. Adam had just graduated as I started my degree, then Phillip and Tom began their degrees after me, so we’ve all supported each other.

“Graduating together is really special, it’s a very proud day.”

Phillip initially began studying a music degree, but after a year away from higher education due to ill health, he had a change of heart about his career path and switched to computing.

He said: “It’s certainly been a challenge at times, but I’m happy with the result.

“It’s nice to share the graduation day with your family, it makes it that more special.”

Tom, who is part of the band Chased By Wolves, was also delighted to graduate with his mum and step-brother.

He said: “We all just got on with our degrees over the years and then when it came to final year realised we’d be graduating together, which was great.”

While studying for her degree, June continued to work full-time in dental and pharmaceutical sales, but now she’s graduated has decided to set up her own business in catering.