After a decade, gravely ill father fulfills promise to see daughter graduate

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Ten years ago, Heidi Biller promised her seriously ill father Roger that he would see her graduate from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Unfortunately, Roger was unable to attend Heidi’s college graduation due to complications from a liver transplant. Now, exactly a decade later, Heidi fulfilled her promise and Roger proudly watched as his daughter earned a master’s in educational leadership from CSE.

“CSE isn’t just about academics,” says Heidi. “It’s about family and it’s about support. CSE was the only place I would ever even think of going for my master’s.”

For Heidi, CSE literally is family. In 1993, Roger himself became the first male valedictorian to graduate from, what was then called, the College’s “night and weekend” program. Roger’s enthusiasm for the College is what encouraged Heidi to pursue her undergraduate degree in English and education at CSE.

“I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was five-years-old,” says Heidi. “When I started working as a teacher, I started seeing the leadership side of education and how important it was to support teachers.”

To further honor her father during graduation, Heidi decorated her mortarboard, or cap, with the phrase, “What’s the magic words?” As a child, Roger would ask Heidi this question and she’d reply “I love Daddy” to which he’d respond “I love Heidi.”

At CSE you receive more than just an education. You develop personal relationships with professors, gain confidence to chase your dreams and are given unconditional support.

Congratulations, Heidi and Roger!

Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth. 

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