Y honors grandma
By Taylor Simmons Daily Universe Staff Reporter - 29 Apr 2005
Black robes draped across her shoulders, a plaster-board cap slightly askew, the grandmother of 29 and mother of nine walked slowly in front of her peers and professors of Home and Family Living to receive a diploma.
On this day, a week ago, LaNell Moore showed more than the fact she is graduating, but that she took nearly 42 years to complete here degree.
LaNell, now 59, began studying at BYU when she was 17, just after graduating high school. Shortly after marrying her husband, Gary Moore, and having a baby, LaNell put her formal education on hold.
The Moores moved around the country and Canada for several years after they were married. When they moved back to Utah, they were called to be mission presidents in Argentina. Upon returning to the United States, LaNell was called to be on the Relief Society General Board for the church, and though LaNell wanted to continue her education, the time was not yet right.
After serving the Relief Society, LaNell was called to be the Young Women’s President in her home ward. At the time, her youngest daughter Kathryn was studying at BYU and LaNell decided the time was perfect to go back to school.
This past semester LaNell and Kathryn had classes together in the Home and Family Living Department. Their professor Janet Stocks said by knowing Kathryn you could tell she had a good mother. Stocks said that in her Family Meal Management class both LaNell and Kathryn had great ideas and contributed well to the classroom environment.
Kathryn said it was great having her mom in her classes. They did all their group projects and assignments together.
“I wish everyone could have some classes with their mom,” she said.
Kathryn’s said her parents are always studying and have emphasized the value and importance of learning new things.
“My parents really value education; we used to tease my mom because she used to fall asleep with a dictionary on her lap—she loves learning,” Kathryn said.
LaNell was thrilled to begin school again, after waiting for so many years.
“The greatest part was studying principles in school that I had practiced for over forty years as a mother,” she said.
Even though it’s a great challenge for them, non-traditional students studying at BYU has become a common thing, Stocks said. Each semester she has between one and three continuing education students in her classes.
“You might stop, but there are still great things to achieve,” LaNell said. “I stopped, but our education continued.”
LaNell’s husband, Gary, said, “LaNell loves to learn and had a goal that she would graduate from college.”
Gary said LaNell’s desire to graduate was not just for herself, but also to set an example for her children and grandchildren. She wanted to be able to say, “If grandma can do it, you guys can do it!”
Between LaNell and Gary Moore’s nine children, they have completed 20 college degrees. Some of their professions include attorneys, college professors, doctors and businessmen
Courtesy of BYU NewsNet