A Second Chance at Graduation
Twins Claudia and Lidia Yanes Garcia stood shoulder to shoulder adorned in graduation caps and gowns May 6 in Austin Peay’s Iris Room as theUniversity’s top leaders took turns honoring them.
The twins didn’t say much, other than a Spanish accented “thank you” here and there, but their smiles shined – as their smiles always do – and that spoke loudly and clearly.
For four years, the Yanes Garcia twins from Los Realejos, Spain, played tennis side by side for Austin Peay, lifting the Governors to an OVC tennis championship earlier this year. They also studied side by side, both earning 4.0 GPAs en route to computer science degrees.
The four-year journey culminated in May in the Iris Room as the University held a special graduation ceremony for the twins. They missed their May 3 commencement because they were leading the Governors in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
“We’re really proud of you,” APSU President Alisa White said. “We’re proud of your academic performance. We’re proud of the way you conducted yourselves here. It had to be tough so far from home, but you were just model students, model citizens, model athletes.”
The twins’ smiles never wavered.“I feel so good,” Lidia Yanes Garcia said. “I didn’t expect to do graduation because when we won the OVC, we knew we were going to miss graduation day. We’re so proud to be here today. Everybody is here.
”Her sister, Claudia, laughed: “I felt like everyone was looking! But I felt good because that means we’ve been four years studying and we have something.”