Alison: I just graduated with three of my daughters last week. I went back to school after graduating 27 years ago with an associate degree in nursing. When my last daughter graduated from high school and I turned 50, it was time to return for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In the middle of going to school, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew I couldn’t quit because I was worried I wouldn’t go back, so I did all of my classes online. I would work Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., in the operating room at University Hospital, and then I would walk up to the university’s Huntsman Cancer Institute after work to get radiation treatment. To be a patient and not a nurse is a hard switch sometimes for us nurses, but I think it is always good to see the other side of things.

Hannah: I will always remember how hard everyone worked while we were all in school together, especially my mom. She rocked college. There were long nights and cereal for dinner at our house, but it was nice to have each other to bounce ideas around.

Leigh Ann: I always knew Hannah and I would graduate at the same time because that’s kind of expected when you’re a twin. It was a wonderful experience going through college together – it wasn’t just one of us stressing about midterms, finals and papers – it was all of us. I’m considering several master’s programs, but I haven’t decided on one yet. Hopefully, I decide soon because the one thing I know I want to do is keep learning.

— Alison Elliott (Bachelor of Nursing) with three of her daughters, Leigh Ann Elliott Bauman (political science), Hannah Elliott (economics), and Halie Elliott (psychology and sociology)

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at