Husband petitions to get honorary degree for late wife

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas man is trying to honor the work of his late wife, Lydia Robinson, who died in mid-April after a fight with breast cancer and was unable to finish her collegiate studies.

Robinson was not only working full-time and helping raise a family, she was also a student at Texas A&M University Central Texas who was only 14 credit hours shy of obtaining her degree.

Her husband, Elijah Robinson, is hoping to get an honorary degree, but those with A&M Central Texas said she does not fit the parameters to receive one.

Elijah is now petitioning online to try and change their minds.

“She wanted to show the kids that you can get an education as long as you work hard and you put in the effort,” said Elijah Robinson.

Lydia Robinson, a Killeen resident and German-native was trying to get the degree to help with her banking career.

“So she wasn’t technically in her last semester, but she was planning to graduate within the next few months,” said Elijah Robinson.

In an emailed statement from the university officials said those who qualify for a posthumous degree must be in their final semester, which Lydia Robinson was not.

“However, this requirement notwithstanding, the university community has other options that they would like to pursue with Lydia’s family, including the possibility of a certificate recognizing how devoted she was to her academic goals,” officials said in the statement.

Even a certificate, Elijah Robinson said, would suffice.

“The mascot for Texas A&M Central Texas is a warrior,” he said. “And I don’t think there is anyone else that encompasses a warrior like someone that’s working full time, raising three kids, battling cancer and going to school.”

But there is still no official movement on what the family can receive. So for now, it is just a waiting game.

“They’ve given degrees to people that have never attended the university at all,” said Elijah Robinson. “But, if you’re going to be a college geared toward real people, then I feel this university needs to reward real work.”

Take a look at that Change.Org petition here.

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