Father, daughter graduate together at SFA

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The largest graduating class in SFA's history walked across the stage this morning. But, for one father and daughter, it marked the end of a journey they began together.

In a sea of caps and gowns, John and Rebecca hurt have a unique story.

For 23 years, John Hurt has watched his little girl grow up, but Saturday, they reached a milestone together.

"It's pretty special," John said. "I don't think too many fathers get the opportunity to graduate with their daughter. We started together, had lots of classes together and it's kind of neat to be graduating together."

He says it just kind of worked out that way.

After 23 years in the navy, he retired and decided to go to college.

Rebecca had just graduated high school and had the same idea.

"Teachers were always like, tell me something interesting about yourself and I'd say 'Well, I go to school with my dad so if you see me walking around with an older man, he's not my boyfriend,'" Rebecca said.

The father/daughter duo started out at Angelina College and ended up at SFA.

"Some people are like 'Oh, it would be so weird to be in class with my dad,' but like my dad is super cool, so it doesn't bother me at all," Rebecca said.

A self-professed daddy's girl, Rebecca says she hasn't minded studying and carpooling with dad over the years.

"We're really competitive because we took a lot of classes together like Spanish and stuff like that so he was kind of competitive with me, who would get the better grade," Rebecca said.

Still, even at graduation, her dad is a step ahead of her.

"Dad made a joke and that he's going to be graduating before me because John comes before Rebecca," Rebecca said.

They walked to their seat, knowing they've made it together.

"I'm really proud of my dad," Rebecca said.

"Pretty special day," John said. "Very proud of her."

John wants to teach high school students.

Rebecca is certified to teach young children, but she's thinking about getting her masters.

The Hurts were two of 1,200 awarded degrees.