The question needed to be asked, “Is Brandman University the most romantic university around?”
“No, don’t go that far,” said graduate, Michelle Muncy-Silva, while giggling with excitement. It was graduation day for a King City, California couple who decided the best way to balance life, children and the pursuit of their post-graduate education was, “to turn it into date night at Brandman.”
Once a week, Michelle and her husband, Norman Silva, would make the 128-mile roundtrip commute from their King City home to Brandman’s Monterey campus to attend classes. “We were lucky to have family close to home to take care of the boys until 10:30 at night,” said Norman. Michelle picked up the thought from there. “We went to dinner before class usually on the scenic wharf in Monterey, and we turned it into time for us, time for us as intellectuals, time for us to be students again.” Both received their bachelor’s degrees through the Cal State University system almost 20 years ago before deciding to return to school for post-graduate work.
On May 31, 2014, Michelle and Norman were two of 409 graduates to receive their diplomas at Brandman University’s Northern Region Commencement Ceremony held at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. On hand to witness the couple graduate were their two sons, Joaquin (8) and Diego (6). “It was very important that our children see this, because we want them to value education, we want that to be a priority for them. Whatever form that takes we are fine but we want them to value education,” said Michelle. “So it was very important to him [Norman] that we bring them so they can see this and recognize the importance. The trip, the gowns, all of it that makes an impact.” Joaquin and Diego beamed with pride as their mom and dad received their master’s degrees. Six-year old Diego is already feeling the impact of graduation day. He wants to pursue a career that will most certainly need the aid of higher education, “I want to be a paleontologist,” said Diego. “Whatever college they want to attend, we support that,” said Michelle.
Michelle and Norman both graduated with a master’s degree in educational leadership. The couple currently teaches in King City with hopes of advancing their careers to the administrative level. What is for certain in thier immediate future is a date night on the Monterey wharf without the burden of class hanging over their clam chowder.