The WilmU family that studies together succeeds together.
Tamra Baurys and her children, Eric and Alexa, each completed their Wilmington University degree programs in May of 2020: Tamra, with a doctorate in Educational Leadership; Eric, an MBA; and Alexa, a bachelor’s in Elementary Education.
Tamra, who is celebrating her 30th anniversary as a teacher at Greensboro Elementary School in Maryland, had already earned two master’s degrees from then-Wilmington College: one in School Leadership and Instruction; the other in Literacy. A true WilmU veteran and proud ambassador, she loves WilmU for many reasons.
“But I have to say that flexibility is number one,” Tamra says. “It’s about the continuum of classes, not taking long breaks, and those seven-week blocks. Flexibility allowed us all to finish at the same time.”
Perseverance is part of this genealogy. Tamra had started her doctoral program in 2004, taking two classes at a time. “But I got a wake-up call when my dad passed away,” she says. “It was my sign to take a break from the program. I left the cohort and knew that when the time was right, I’d finish.”
That time came in 2016, when she joined Cohort 26 in Dover. “It was challenging working full-time and juggling assignments,” she says, “but I was with two others in the School Leadership track, and we got to be great friends. I loved the group projects, and we all benefitted from them.”
Tragedy struck again when Tamra’s sister Denise died in the fall of 2018. “My professor was very accommodating,” she says. “I was able to do all my work online and be with my sister before she passed. I will always be grateful for that.”
Alexa had started her studies at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina then transferred first to Delaware Technical Community College, then WilmU. She was a student teacher at The Kent County Community School and now works there full-time, serving children with special needs. Moving full-speed ahead on her master’s in Special Education at WilmU, “Alexa has done 10 classes in a year,” Tamra adds. “She plans to complete that degree in spring 2021. She’s a worker.”
So is her brother Eric, a gas analyst at Chesapeake Utilities in Dover. After completing his Finance degree from the University of Delaware in 2017, he wanted to graduate with his sister and mother. He worked feverishly to earn his MBA, and “he and his boss have already been in communication about other postings Eric might be qualified for,” Tamra says.
“We applaud every student for reaching their academic goals,” says Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “But it’s not every day that three people from the same family earn their degrees together, and we admire the way they supported each other throughout their journeys. I offer my sincere congratulations to the Baurys family.”